Farmers planning party to mark end of milk quotas

Up to 200 expected at event for dairy farmers in Tipperary

From April 1st, farmers will be free to produce as much milk as they wish and it is expected that milk supply will increase by 50 per cent by 2020. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

From April 1st, farmers will be free to produce as much milk as they wish and it is expected that milk supply will increase by 50 per cent by 2020. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Musician John Bermingham, who gave up dairy farming because of the restriction of quotas, has been commissioned to write a song for the event and a milking machine will be at the party venue to see the last cow being milked just before midnight on March 31st.

Glanbia supplier Walter Power from Ninemilehouse says he hopes other farmers will mark the occasion in a similar way. “I think this is the biggest event since we got rid of the Black and Tans,” he says. “It is going to bring about massive changes in rural areas and we should mark it.” From April 1st, farmers will be free to produce as much milk as they wish and it is expected that milk supply will increase by 50 per cent by 2020.

New era

Europe

Mr Bermingham said his song was at the embryonic stage and he was writing it with the guitar he bought when he sold his cows. “I came back home to farm in 1980 when my father got sick,” he said.

“Then milk quotas came in and really hampered progress of becoming a farmer. I spent 10 years trying my best but in the end I sold my cows. I decided that whatever money my best cow made on the day of the auction would be spent on a guitar. That’s what I did and my best cow became my guitar.”

Tourism business

Up to 200 people are expected to attend the party at the community hall in Grangemockler and funds raised will go to the hospice in Carrick-in-Suir.

There is a good chance the cows of south Tipperary will be milked a little later than usual on the morning of April 1st.