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Winter programme of talks for Manx farmers 30 October 2012

DEFA’s Agriculture Advisory Service has arranged a programme of talks for farmers, commencing on 8th November and held at the Glen Helen Hotel, starting at 8pm. The meetings are free and open to all and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

The speakers come from different parts of the UK and the aim of the meetings is to give Manx farmers the opportunity to gain an insight into how other farmers are making a success of their businesses. The speakers have been asked to explain what they are doing in their farming businesses, why they have chosen their farming systems and what their future plans are.

Details of the meetings are: Thursday 8th November: Beef & Sheep. Three speakers from Wales, Ireland and the Lake District will cover a variety of topics reflecting their farming experiences including: using Electronic Identification, improving forage and pasture utilisation for sheep and cattle, the challenges of sheep farming in an area of high rainfall and high altitude and the evaluation of breeds for beef production.

Thursday 15th November: Dairy. Three speakers will focus on how they are making a success of milk production, covering topics such as animal health, cow fertility and grass production.

The chosen speakers have a wealth of experience to offer and the Department hopes that many Manx farmers will attend the meetings and take part in discussing the many issues that the presentations will cover.

Notes to Editors

The speakers are as follows: Beef & Sheep meeting: Rob Powell farms in the uplands of mid Wales, supplying beef to Waitrose as well as operating a large sheep enterprise. His farm is a “demonstration farm” and he is also Chairman of the local Welsh Black marketing group. Will Rawling farms a mix of hill and lowland ewes alongside a suckler enterprise in the northwest Lake District. He is Chairman of the Cumbria Farmers’ Network. Denis Minogue runs the Derry Patrick Beef Research herd at The Grange in Ireland. Although the work focuses on evaluating beef breeds, there is also emphasis on using grass to achieve good results – relevant to the Isle of Man which has equally good conditions for grass based systems.

Dairy meeting: Matthew Jackson manages a large grass based dairy herd in North Wales. Terrig Morgan and his son have recently expanded their dairy herd to 160 cows with an average yield of 8000 litres. Terrig is a past NFU Wales Dairy Board Chairman. William Grant is a young farmer, milking 180 Friesian and Friesian cross cows on a tenanted farm.

For more information, contact:

Chris Kneale, DEFA agriculture advisor Tel 695735

Andrew Macdonald, SAC agriculture advisor Tel 695731

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