The Alltech Euro Tour kicked off this week in Bologna, Italy bringing together dairy farmers, feed industry professionals and Alltech team members for 5 days of learning and networking.
Now in its second year, the Alltech Euro Tour has welcomed 140 people from 13 different countries. Throughout the tour from November 26 – 30, the group will visit 7 dairy farms and 1 beef farm in 4 different countries across Europe. At each stop, the group will learn about local agriculture and hear about new trends and innovations driving farm performance in these countries. Qualified veterinarian and herd health consultant Martin Kavanagh will join as a guest speaker and will facilitate group discussions comparing dairy farming and the systems in place in each country.
Irish attendees enjoying a farm visit to Milsana in Germany. Photo: Alltech
Parmesan cheese focus
Starting in Bologna, in the heart of the famous Parmigiano-Reggiano region, the group will visit 2 high-producing farms, milking 800 and 1,000 cows, that supply milk to produce parmesan cheese. From Italy, the group will fly by chartered plane to Reims, a city in the Champagne region in the east of France. Once there, the group will first visit a very well-known dairy farm in this part of France. This farm has expanded significantly in the last 3 years, subsequently tripling its milk production from a 230-cow herd. Diversification is the theme of the second farm the group will visit, which has used its 250-hectare farm to accommodate a dairy and cow calf herd while simultaneously growing rapeseed, wheat and barley.
Top-quality silage in Belgium
The third country the tour will visit is Belgium, where the group will visit 2 highly-efficient farms that focus on producing top-quality silage and using mixed by-products to manage costs while sustaining high levels of milk production.
The tour will end in Dublin, Ireland, where the group will visit University College Dublin’s Lyons Research Farm. The focus areas of this facility include new, innovative and sustainable milk production models; evaluation of grazing systems based on available land; and the interaction between genotype and nutrition. While in Ireland, the group will also visit Alltech’s European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne, County Meath, and nearby Kepak Farm, one of Ireland’s largest beef feedlots, finishing 4,000 heifers and bulls each year.