- Date: 23 Jan 2018
- Venue: Chimney Corner Hotel, Mallusk
The 59th Annual Conference of the Ulster Grassland Society took place at the Chimney Corner hotel, Mallusk, on 23rd January 2018 when delegates gathered to hear presentations on labour issues for family farms from Joe Rowe, Farm Solutions ltd and Trevor Alcorn, Omagh. This was followed by a presentation on silage production from Dr Dave Davies, Silage Solutions ltd and finally Paul Turley from Downpatrick who spoke about his out wintered Suckler enterprise.
Joe Rowe outlined what a farmer has to do before starting the process of employing a farm labourer. He said that the first thing is to develop an extensive plan. The plan should include defining the work and the role and the skills required for the job. It is important to be realistic and to consider the responsibilities of the role. Should consider bonus/incentives and have undisputable measures. May be a need to provide good quality accommodation for the ermployee.. At the interview it is a two way process and it is essential to listen to his/her views. There is a need to consider the personal agenda of the interviewee. Everything must be clear and have it clearly written down. Good communication with the person after employment is essential and needs to be respectful.
The second speaker was Trevor Alcorn, a CAFRE Dairying Development Adviser in North Tyrone took the delegates on a worldwide tour of his Nuffield Farming Scholarship travels which he undertook during 2015 & 2016. He visited a number of European Countries as well as the United States of America and China. His topic was “Does the family farm have a future”.
The third speaker was Dr Dave Davies is a Director at Silage Solutions ltd, a company that provides consultancy on all aspects of silage in the UK and across Europe. Dr Davies has over 25 years research experience working on silage production and feeding, including, ensiling and feeding of a range of forage crops, development of novel silage additives, silage additive testing and working with many different lactic bacteria.
The final speaker was Paul Turley a qualified vet and farmer on the outskirts of Downpatrick. Nine years ago Paul embarked on the development of a suckler calf to beef system which encompasses the attributes of securing maximum performance from grass and forage while, at the same time, optimising the returns available from the marketplace for his finished stock. Prior to establishing the spring calving suckler herd, Paul had been traditionally finishing beef stores.