Over 100 delegates at the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland’s third EU Sustainable Dairy symposium, which took place online on the 14th October, heard how cutting–edge dairy research is being applied on Northern Ireland dairy farms to help the sector to continue to limit and mitigate its impact on the environment, boost sustainability and tackle Climate Change.
The theme of this year’s event ‘From research to practice on Northern Ireland Dairy Farms’ highlighted how knowledge is developed by scientists at the Agri–Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and put into practice on local dairy farms.
Delegates heard from keynote speakers, Edwin Poots MLA, Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and Professor Frank Mitloehner, the University of California, Davis.
Minister Poots outlined a number of Departmental policy priorities and challenge the sector to continue working with his Department to continue to improve farm sustainability practices.
Dr Mitloehner, who researches air emissions from livestock operations, presented his findings that emissions from dairy herds form part of a vital natural cycle which helps to store carbon in fields, trees and hedges across Northern Ireland. Facts & Fiction: Debunking Myths About Environmental Impact
The Symposium is part of the third and final year of an EU funded campaign to share and celebrate the work of the Northern Ireland Dairy sector in their initiatives to help tackle climate change and protect our environment.
Leading scientists, technologists and local dairy farmers spoke about how local research projects have led to significant environmental benefits on local dairy farms.
Soil and Catchment Modelling – Alex Higgins, AFBI
Improving Farm Sustainability Through Efficient Concentrate Use – Dr Conrad Ferris, AFBI
Young Stock Management – Martin Mulholland, CAFRE
The Farm Case Study videos from Ian McClelland’s, Drew McConnell’s and James Brown’s farms can be seen here.
Delegates also heard more about nutrition and a sustainable diet from Nutrition Research and Food Legislation Manager at the Dutch Dairy Association (NZO), Dr Stephan Peters Update on the role of dairy foods in a healthy, sustainable diet in Europe
Watch the symposium here: