West Offaly Dairy Group win Innovation Competition

The West Offaly group were the overall winners in the Dairy Discussion Group Innovation Competition, an exciting new project-based competition for dairy discussion groups, organised jointly by ACCBank, Teagasc, ICBF and the Farmers Journal.

The West Offaly group were the overall winners in the Dairy Discussion Group Innovation Competition, an exciting new project-based competition for dairy discussion groups, organised jointly by ACCBank, Teagasc, ICBF and the Farmers Journal.

The West Offaly Dairy Discussion Group won the national competition for their project - Operation Lifesaver. Group members implemented a combined total of 226 actions over the last year to improve health and safety on their farms. Health and safety featured at each monthly meeting of their discussion group in 2012, which was facilitated by Teagasc Dairy Business and Technology adviser Jim Moyles.

The new competition was launched earlier this year, with the objective of stimulating discussion among dairy discussion groups to allow for the development of the stronger bonds between members; and also to encourage the development of profit or lifestyle based innovations for widespread farm adoption.

Ten groups were short listed in the competition, and competed for a share of the €20,000 prize fund, as they presented their innovation projects before an audience of 250 farmers and industry representatives in Tullamore.

Pat Byrnes, Agri Manager, ACCBank Limerick commented: “We are very pleased to be part of this innovative event, and we are delighted to see that innovation is alive and well in the agriculture sector.”

Tom O’Dwyer, Head of the Dairy Knowledge Transfer Teagasc said: “ The quality of the applications for this competition were excellent and have shown what can be achieved by dairy farmers coming together and applying innovative thinking to available technologies to deliver new solutions to farm challenges.”

Further details on each of the groups and their projects can be viewed {http://www.teagasc.ie/publications/view_publication.aspx€PublicationID=1631 |by clicking here}