FRS Milking Course: Creating Quality Milkers from Beginners

To date, the Best Practice in milking course has proven to be a great success amongst farmers throughout Ireland.  Hundreds of farmers both experienced and inexperienced have completed the course and each one has benefitted from doing it in some way.  The QQI accredited course which is ran in conjunction with FRS, Teagasc and AHI is available nationwide for anyone looking to become a milker or simply improve their skills.


John Anthony O’Brien, a farmer from Westmeath, successfully completed the milking course in July 2015 in Mullingar. John himself has a herd of 105 cows on his farm where he resides with his mother, wife Carmen and two daughters Remy and Pia. He hopes to increase his herd to 120 over the coming years.


Before the milking course, John had little knowledge of milking so decided to do the course in hope of furthering his milking skills and knowledge. He wasn’t left unsatisfied. Completing the course as a new entrant to milking John found he learned a lot and gained great experience.


“I found the whole course and how each part was run and explained to be very good.  I was a new entrant so I had very limited knowledge and experience so I found it really helped me.  It was fantastic.”


Everything John learned in the Milking course was new information to him and coming in as a beginner he found he retained it all and picked things up quite quickly. Every part of it for him was value for money.


“I think the course really is great value.  Every part of the course was new to me, the whole running of the parlour and the set up was great.  The practical milking itself and the whole concept behind a proper milking routine really stuck with me.”


The way the course is divided into practical and theory changes it up but also gives the farmers the information along with the hands on experience.  For John, having the practical side to the course is a bonus.


“I really liked the mix between the theory and the practical but the practical side is always great.  With being told something, things can fly over your head whereas when you are shown something hands on and see it happening in-front of you it really clicks.”


Before doing the milking course, John had no parlour of his own.  After completing the milking course in the Summer of 2015, John began constructing his own milking parlour which he had up and running by January 2016. 


“Before I did the course I didn’t have anything – no milking parlour at all.  I only started the roadways about two months afterwards and I was milking my first cows in the parlour in the January.”


Doing the milking course impacted on how John decided to go about building his milking parlour and the way in which he was going to lay it out.


“The course really did impact on how I would go about my parlour.  Parts of the course really influenced me.  I got a lot of helpful tips during the course from the tutor.  Simple things like row right handed turns, roadways and how a row should be wide enough to get a straight run into and out of your parlour. It all comes down to how cows act and react to their surroundings.”


John wouldn’t hesitate in recommending and encouraging others to do the milking course. 


“I really would recommend the course to others.  For me personally, I knew nothing so it was all new to me.  It was information I needed badly but I think there’s something there for everybody be it an experienced milker or not.”


Although there were people there who had milked all their lives the course does cater for those who are just starting out too.


“There were lads in there who were relief milking all their life and experienced, I think they found it interesting too and learned things that they didn’t previously know.  There was something there for everybody to be honest it really was worthwhile.”


For more information or to book a spot on the course call Pat Reilly on  086 4634155 or visit






TAMS Farm Safety Training

Farm Safety training is now mandatory under the TAMS scheme. It is a requirement of the scheme that all applicants must have completed within the last five years prior to the date of application or the submission of their claim for payment a half day Farm Safety Code of Practice training day.

FRS Training are running these half day courses nationwide for only €40 per person.

 You can book online at here



Keeping those weeds at Bay

One thing which grows exceptionally well, regardless of the weather, are weeds in Ireland and this year is no exception. Weeds this year are very plentiful particularly in grassland. FRS in Cahir have the perfect weed solution to help with your weed issues and FRS Training provide the sprayer training courses to ensure you are compliant with the new Department of Agriculture directive.
Weeds and Briars 

From this time of year onwards, weeds and briars become a major problem with electric fences around farm land. The major problem which arises is the strength in the power of the electric fencing diminishing dramatically. The best way to control this is by using weed killer. Grazon 90 is one of the best on the market and is preferred by many farmers.
Grassland Weeds
A large amount of weeds which grow on grassland, compete with grass for nutrients and space. In turn, these weeds are reducing the amount of grass available to the grazing animals. There are several sprays on the market which will fight against the reoccurring growth of these weeds and can be purchased in all DIY stores. Ask for assistance if you are unsure.
There are many sprays on the market which will eliminate buttercups from your garden. Spraying with forefront or pastor will solve this problem as well as the growth of other weeds.
Rushes tend to cause a big problem for farmers. With the amount of rainfall we get in Ireland there is always a significant increase in the amount of rushes on the land. A combination of a 2 4 D based product and Torpedo 2 appears to be quite effective in killing it off as due to its vigorous nature it can be quite difficult to dispose of.
Docks are a constant scourge on most farms however they are relatively easy to control. There are a number of effective sprays on the market. The only problem which underlies is there reoccurrence. Many products are available to counteract against docks, however many are very severe on clover therefore it is best to consult with your supplier on the appropriate product to suit your needs.

Boom Sprayer Pesticide Application Courses
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced the implementation of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD). This directive stipulates that professional users, ie farmers and distributers of plant protection products will be required to be trained and registered with the Department by November 26th 2015. Farmers need to be compliant and the training courses required are commonly known as Boom Sprayers and Knapsack Sprayers.
FRS Training is a FETAC/QQI approved professional pesticide user training provider and has tailored its courses to suit farming life. The courses involve two tutor led training days, but they are not consecutive days, which lessens the burden to farmers and also incorporates independent learning that the farmer can complete on their own farms.
After completing the Boom Sprayer Pesticide QQI Level 5 course and the Hand Held Pesticide Application QQI level 5 course with FRS, farmers will be able to explain the terminology, describe procedures for safe handling, demonstrate knowledge of the laws and regulations relating to poisonous substances, interpret pesticide label information correctly, prepare boom sprayer/knapack sprayer for work and make up and apply a pesticide spray mix.
Further information on registration and training requirements and hard copies of all registration forms visit
Contact FRS Training on 1890 20 1000 to book your course or visit FRS courses are available Nationwide at competitive pricing and group discounts.

Welcome to the FRS Ploughing Stand 2015

Block 1, Row 26, Stand 440

If you want to make compliance a lot easier, improve your milking practices, be boom sprayer compliant, safeguard the continuity of your farm work and get that little bit of help and relief when you need it the FRS Network stand is your target at the ploughing. Plus you could win a tablet, your county jersey and grab special offers!

The FRS Live Boom Sprayer Training Demonstration area will show farmers what they need to do to be compliant with the forthcoming SUD (Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive).

You can sign up to the award winning App that is making farmer’s compliance and herd management a lot easier and more efficient and hence more profitable, through the technology provided by Herdwatch.

You can get peace of mind and continuity of your business in the event of an accident or illness by becoming a member of FRS with a special sign up offer at the ploughing.

You can investigate the varied supports and valued services that will make your farm run more efficiently and safely through the tailored training, farm relief and fencing services.

Along with special offers and tablets up for grabs there will be a cup of tea and a chat available at the stand that will open your eyes to better ways of doing things on your farm into the future and show you how FRS can help.

At the Ploughing come and see what FRS can bring to your life to facilitate growth, better efficiencies and profitably with technology and expert help.

Visit or call 1890 790 890
Media Contact:
Jane Marks
Marketing Manager
FRS Network
0505 31584
086 8816963

News: Innovation Award winners Herdwatch set for Ploughing comeback

Innovation Award winners at the National Ploughing Championships 2014, Herdwatch, are set to head to the event again this year to launch their enhanced App features.  Herdwatch makes life a whole lot easier offering dairy, suckler and beef farmers easy compliance at the tap of an icon.  The unique App has gone from strength to strength throughout the year with over 1,000 farmers already signed up, and was also crowned ‘AIB Start-up Academy winners 2015’ with a prize fund worth €250,000 and awarded ‘emerging new business’ at the Small Firms Association Awards.

Herdwatch will be at the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska for the three days 22nd, 23rd and 24th of September, ready to put farmer’s herds in their hands with a free month trial of the App. The team will be offering anyone who signs up at the Ploughing a very special deal and those who join Herdwatch will also be in with a chance of winning a high-tech tablet each day.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the newest member of the Herdwatch team #Herdie, who will be out and about on the lead up to the event, you may even find him thumbing a lift to the Ploughing!  If you fancy a GAA Jersey in your county colours, find #Herdie at the Ploughing, take a snap, tweet #Herdie and you could be getting your hands on that prize.

You will find the Herdwatch Team at the Ploughing in the Innovation Arena and the FRS (Farm Relief Services) stand R26, Stand 440.

For more information or to sign up to Herdwatch visit or call 0505 34400.  Visit Facebook page and Twitter page for updates and live feeds from the Ploughing.


Media Contact:

Jane Marks,, 086 8816963

Caoimhe Kirby,, 086 1300409

Job Opening: Dairy Farm Operators Required

Dairy Farm Operators required for large dairy herds in the Kilkenny area.  Full time and part time work available with every second weekend off.  The ideal candidate would have previous experience in milking.  Starting 7th of September, Contact Yvonne at FRS Kilkenny on 056 7761671