Mastering Dairy Innovations: A global journey back to the farm
In an inspiring conversation with Padraic Nangle, a 23-year-old Irish student hailing from a family farm of 400 cows, we delve into his experiences in the Master of Innovations in Dairy and Food Chains program at Van Hall Larenstein. Currently working on a 1200-cow farm in New Zealand, Padraic shares his insights, motivations, and the excitement of being part of this Master study in Leeuwarden.
From Ireland to Leeuwarden (the Netherlands)
Padraic's roots run deep in dairy farming, with a family farm of 400 cows in the Republic of Ireland. His goal is crystal clear: always return to the farm and get his hands dirty. For him, the essence of farming lies in the hands-on experience. The Master's program has not only broadened his perspective but has given him a profound understanding of the decision-makers process at dairy processing facilities.
Motivation and Excitement
What motivated Padraic to choose this program? He's passionate about innovation. The prospect of exploring new trends and technology, coupled with the guidance of dedicated staff members, drew him in.
Addressing Key Dairy Innovations and Trends
In Padraic's opinion, one of the key challenges in dairy farming in Ireland today is the fast-paced deregulation. With the top 10% of deregulations impacting the farming sector, pollution problems arise. As a farmer, he understands the importance of finding ways to reduce emissions and tackle nitrate pollution.
Sustainability isn't just a buzzword in Padraic's education – it's interwoven in every aspect of the Master. Sustainability is key to ensuring the profitability of dairy farming while safeguarding the environment. For Padraic, the future of dairy farming is about finding the balance between people and profit, ensuring the industry's sustainability.
Why the Netherlands?
When asked why he chose the Netherlands for his studies, Padraic reveals that COVID-19 closed the door on New Zealand. The Netherlands provided a unique opportunity to experience different cultures and enterprises across the world, allowing him to compare various dairy industries, such as that of Kenya.
Understanding Innovative Dairy Chain Management
Padraic explains that the Master's program delves into the complexity of change in the dairy industry. It focuses on creating and facilitating change by linking processes, supermarkets, and consumers. Graduates of this program become equipped to understand the perspectives of decision-makers and change-makers.
The Future Path: back to the farm
Padraic's journey doesn't end with graduation. He plans to return to the farm, armed with a better understanding of the industry's dynamics and his customers' needs. The course has equipped him to comprehend the reasoning behind the decisions made by industry leaders, enabling him to adapt and thrive as a farmer.
Interesting Projects and Enjoyable Experiences
Throughout his studies, Padraic has had the opportunity to work on interesting projects, collaborating with companies involved in dairy processing. Field trips and farm visits have enriched his learning experience. What he enjoys most about being a student in this field is the personal development it offers and the chance to interact with people who share a passion for making a difference.
In conclusion, Padraic's journey in the Master of Innovations in Dairy and Food Chains program is a testament to the exciting possibilities this field offers. With sustainability at its core and a focus on facilitating change, this program opens doors to a future where dairy farming evolves and thrives. Padraic's story is an inspiration to farm sons and daughters, as well as those with a keen interest in the agricultural sector.