Andrew Gow, from near Glenstal Abbey, Co. Limerick in the heart of Munster Rugby, is married to Sharon, and they have 3 children. They operate a low cost grass based seasonal dairy farm. The farm currently milks 120 Fr and Fr/Jer cows with an EBI of 131 (in top 5% in Ireland), rearing all dairy replacement and sells stock bulls, some to AI stations. The farm, 80% leased, is 80 hectare in size, and is in two 2 blocks.
Andrew examined the relationship between co-op shareholders/farmers, their committees, boards, government and public. He investigated how internationally successful co-ops have educated their members to realise the potential of fully integrating their joint businesses under one common goal.
He travelled to New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, UK and Chile, to assess the lessons which may be applied in order to encourage greater and more rapid integration between dairy co-ops in Ireland.