Originally from Co. Galway Ed Payne is now living in Tulsk, Co. Roscommon with his wife Jennifer and two young children Benjamin and Aaron. Ed, his family and team of staff run the family farm which has changed over the past ten years from a suckler, beef and sheep enterprise to one completely dairy orientated. Ed currently employs two full time labour units, Aidan Brosnan and Paul Fitzpatrick as well as seasonal staff being brought in as required. The business first started milking cows in 2011 and since has grown to milking over 500 cows across two milking platforms.
Ed is currently a member of the West Awake discussion group, Aidan and Paul are also members of the local discussion group and West Once a Day group. Ed was awarded the Teagasc and FBD student of the year 2014 and is also a keen cyclist and runner.
Aware of the positive impact within a business that a good team of people can have, he chose to study “Farmers responsibility to become more competitive and sustainable employers” Ed realises the rising demand for labour in the Irish agricultural sector, but also the lack of available knowledge, tools and information to employers and the skills needed to source, recruit and maintain the current employee for their farm.
As the average dairy herd size grows in the coming years the idea of employment and human resources will be one that many Irish farmers, whether they are becoming an employer for the first time, a farm growing a large team of employees or just needing to understanding the best approach to seasonal staff, will all have to become more educated in this area.
Over the course of his scholarship Ed traveled in search of farms and businesses across many industries that have already been successful in delivering this resource and how best those practices could be applied in Ireland. Ed looks forward to future learning in this area over the coming years as well as sharing his own findings with others in the agriculture industry in Ireland.