The National Dairy Council (NDC) and Agri Aware were delighted to celebrate La Fheile Bainne on World School Milk Day with the Walsh family on their dairy farm in Oranmore on Wednesday, September 27th.
Galway dairy farmer Henry Walsh and his son Enda opened up their farm to a number of local schools in the area to see first-hand how milk is produced on a typical Irish grass-based dairy farm. This celebration of Irish Dairy was not just limited to schools local to Oranmore. The NDC and Agri Aware Teams were also delighted to welcome nearly 25,000 Primary schoolchildren from all over Ireland who logged on from their classrooms to experience this live farm event.
Farming on the outskirts of Oranmore, the Walsh’s are strong advocates of Irish family farms and in particular Irish dairy, and this is clear when you walk onto their farm and see how they operate their productive and environmentally focused enterprise.
Henry and Enda along with NDC and Agri Aware staff took local primary school children on a journey to show how the milk that they have with their cereal in the morning is produced, processed, and packaged from grass to glass! There was also a section on the benefits of dairy as part of following a healthy balanced diet presented by NDC Nutritionist, Dr Mary Harrington.
Mark Keller, Director of Strategic Operations with NDC, said
“This was the first time we have held both a live and virtual event for schools to celebrate World School Milk Day. NDC runs the EU School Milk Scheme where subsidised milk is available to schoolchildren all over Ireland. Events like this provide a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of dairy as part of a healthy balanced diet and that five servings a day is recommended from 9-18 years.”
Henry is a dual supplier which means he supplies milk to two Irish milk processors, Aurivo and Kerry Agri-business representatives from both co-ops will be there on the day to showcase how they take raw milk and process it for liquid milk to drink and other nutritional dairy products such as butter and cheese – products which nourish millions of Irish and international consumers across the globe.
Agri Aware Executive Director Marcus O’Halloran was overjoyed with the success of World School Milk Day. He said:
“Agri Aware was delighted to team up with the National Dairy Council on World School Milk Day to bring this event to primary school students both in person and virtually. The importance of showing where our food comes from has never been more critical. World School Milk Day provided the opportunity to connect primary school students at a primary level where milk in today’s instance comes from.
“Today for World School Milk Day we are teaching kids about the grass to glass journey of the milk they consume and the nutritional benefits of dairy produce.”
Agri Aware, the independent farming and agri-food educational body, is a charitable trust whose mission is to improve the image and understanding of agriculture, farming and the food industry among the general public.
To convey the importance of the agri-food industry among the general public and bridge the gap between producer and consumer.
Agri Aware delivers high impact educational and public awareness initiatives and projects for students and the general public.
About the National Dairy Council
The National Dairy Council (NDC) champions the role of quality pasture-based dairy and its nutrition benefits in supporting healthier, more active living. The private farmer-funded marketing agency works to promote and protect Ireland’s dairy reputation at home and abroad and believes in a future in which Irish dairy is recognized and trusted as a vital part of people’s diet and general health across the life stages, indispensable to Ireland’s social and economic wellbeing.