The 2018 Nuffield Ireland conference, sponsored by MSD Animal Health, took place on Friday 16th November 2018 in the Castleknock Hotel, Dublin.

The keynote address was delivered by former CEO and Chairman of the Kerry Group, Denis Brosnan who shared his insights on leadership and key factors for success in the agri-food industry.

Denis Brosnan with Nuffield Ireland Chairman Geoff Dooley Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

Attendees also heard from six returning 2017 Nuffield scholars who presented the findings of their Nuffield reports. They included:

Eamon Sheehan: Microbial management and its importance in the Dairy and Beef industry 

From a suckler farm in Kilkenny, Eamon converted to Dairy five years ago. He travelled to Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Germany, UK, USA, Holland and France to gain insights for his Nuffield studies. Eamon’s report offers recommendations for how the industry can proactively develop strategies to deal with the challenge presented by anti-microbial resistance.

Ed Payne: Farmers responsibility to become more competitive and sustainable employers

From Galway and living in Tulsk, Co. Roscommon, Ed along with his Dad runs a dairy enterprise. Ed travelled to USA, Canada, India, Qatar, Turkey and the UK as part of his Nuffield Scholarship and his report focusses on what farmers can do to address the labour shortage by creating a place of work that people will want to work in.

Owen Brodie: The role co-ops play in encouraging viable dairy farming in marginal areas

From a spring calving dairy farm in Co. Cavan, Owen travelled to Brazil, Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, UK and USA to gain insights for his Nuffield studies. His report explores the role dairy farming plays in the social and economic fabric of rural communities and the benefits of farmers and co-ops working together for all.

Niall O’Regan: Improving Nutrient Management and Protecting Water Quality

From a dairy farm in Mallow Co. Cork, Niall travelled to South Africa, Netherlands, Holland, France, UK, Brazil, US, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Kenya as part of his Nuffield Scholarship. His report focusses on the challenge water quality poses to the dairy industry and the lessons which can be learned from key global competitors.

Lorcan Allen: A Licence to Farm – how Irish agriculture can maintain its social licence to operate

Currently a journalist at the Irish Farmers Journal, Lorcan Allen hails from a suckler farm in Moate, Co. Westmeath. Lorcan travelled to USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Italy and Netherlands to gain insights for his Nuffield studies. His report investigates the present-day disapproval that societies in many countries now have towards farmers and agriculture and the steps that the industry can take to counteract this.

Bryan Hynes: Models for managing multiple dairy units in Ireland – Profitable dairy expansion

From a beef farm in Clarinbridge in County Galway, since 2012 Bryan runs a dairy farm in partnership with his neighbour. For his Nuffield Scholarship, Bryan travelled to Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Kenya and South Africa where he visited dairy farms who had expanded by taking on multiple dairy units. His report explores how this approach is best managed and the considerations for Irish dairy farms.

2017 Nuffield Ireland Scholars (L-R) Niall O’Regan, Eamon Sheehan, Bryan Hynes, Owen Brodie, Ed Payne, Lorcan Allen  Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

Chair Dr. Eilish Broderick, Eamon Sheehan, Ed Payne, Owen Brodie Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

Chair Dr. Roberta McDonald, Niall O’Regan, Lorcan Allen, Bryan Hynes Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke