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News > Back To Business for Mid-Down Business Development Groups


Back To Business for Mid-Down Business Development Groups

September 30, 2020

Judith McCord – CAFRE Dairying Development Adviser, Downpatrick

Hillsborough, Downpatrick and Rathfriland Business Development Groups (BDG’s) met in September for the first time since COVID restrictions in March.  Enthusiasm among the members was high and there was a strong feel for driving their business needs forward. CAFRE Dairying Development Adviser for the groups, Judith McCord outlined the progress to date participating businesses had gained from the BDG scheme and detailed the ways in which each group could move forward.

Hillsborough BDG are setting aside the next year’s meetings to focus on young-stock needs.  This will take the group through each phase of the heifer’s life from preparation for birth to moving into the herd accounting for housing, nutrition, behaviour and management needs.

BDG Group in a field

Downpatrick BDG pulled together at their first meeting to discuss a huge change in one of the group members’ herd management – moving from an autumn calving herd to a spring calving herd.  Great discussion with pros and cons were invested from the group into this meeting and going forward this group have the benefits of milk recording, finance and efficient feeding in their sights.

Rathfriland BDG had a healthy start to their meetings with an intense discussion around the benefits of MOC (Margin over Concentrate) and CAFRE Benchmarking with a number of group members deciding to make use of these two CAFRE financial management tools to monitor cow and business performance.

Participants across these three progressive groups are committed to looking critically at their individual businesses with the help of their peers within the group and their CAFRE Dairying Development Adviser Judith McCord.  This type of focussed agenda for discussion is typical of Dairying BDGs and it is clear that at this stage of the scheme group members are comfortable with frank discussion and critical analysis to ensure business progress.

The BDG Scheme is part funded by the EU Rural Development Fund.