YOUNG Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster are participating in several exchanges throughout the summer of 2022 across the UK and Europe.
One of the opening visits for YFCU this season welcomed Tim Williams and Hannah Starmore from Wales Federation of Young Farmers and John Forbes from the Scottish Association of Young Farmers.
During their trip, exchangees and their hosts Kirsten Davis, Lylehill YFC, Gareth Baird, Straid YFC, and Courtney McMullan, Moycraig YFC, had the opportunity to attend a farm visit in Loughgall, County Armagh, to the farm of Matthew and David Brownlee in partnership with YFCU Platinum sponsors Dunbia.
The group enjoyed a tour of the facilities and had the opportunity to see first-hand the management of the Brownlee Farm, which boasts a stock of 1,500 pedigree Holstein dairy cows, 1,300 pigs and finishing calves, in addition to growing apples.
Matthew Brownlee, farm owner and manager, said: “It’s good to see young people interested but it’s important that the view they keep of farming is as a business.
“Attention to detail and consistency are vital in regards to welfare, nutrition or any other element on farm.
“For example, we foot trim every cow twice a year, as even minor cases of lameness can be significant to a business – a cow that is lame can drop 100 litres of milk over a week, which can have a huge knock-on effect financially, so it’s important to act even when these cases are subclinical.”
Kenny Linton, Agriculture Manager, Dunbia, joined the group for the morning visit, and highlighted: “Matthew’s farm is a great example of seeing what is achievable when modern technology is used and information is acted upon. Averaging over 12,000 litres is testimony to that.
“He uses the information from the robotic milking system on farm to improve his management to maximise production.
“Matthew is enthusiastic about using facts and figures, his uptake of technology is good to see and will hopefully inspire the young farmers visiting to see the benefit of how it can be used in the future to help them be successful.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.