FRS Milking Course: Perfecting the everyday farmer’s milking skills

The Best Practice in milking course was launched in 2015 and since then has proven to be a great success amongst the farming community throughout Ireland. Hundreds of farmers both experienced and inexperienced have completed the course and benefited from it in some way. The QQI accredited course which is run in conjunction with FRS, Teagasc and AHI is available nationwide for anyone looking to become a milker or to simply improve their skills.

Diarmuid Scannell a farmer from Crookstown in County Cork completed the course September last year in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. Diarmuid came across an advertisement for the course online and was intrigued. He wanted to complete the course to see what it had to offer and what he himself could take home from it.

“I don’t have my own farm but I work on a farm and would be always milking. I came across the milking course on the internet and I decided to do the course because I was interested to see what was involved and to see if it would benefit me in the long run.”

Everything Diarmuid learned on the course benefited him in some way especially learning to use both hands when milking.

“What I took away from the course was being able to switch hands for milking and milking with both hands. I never did that before but do it all the time now.”

The way in which the course is divided into practical and theory changes it up but also gives the farmers the theory part along with the hands on experience. Diarmuid found the way in which the course was run to be very efficient:

“The layout of the course and they way in which it is run is A1. The trainer was also great and showed us clearly how everything should be done.”

Diarmuid would definitely recommend the course to all farmers whether they are experienced or inexperienced:]

“I would definitely recommend the course to other farmers. Learning how to milk properly and being able to use both hands when milking was great, I never did this before. We are all milking cows but most of us farmers are not milking cows properly.”

Successful completion of the “Best Practice in Milking Course” will result in a FETAC/QQI level 6 certificate. It involves two days training followed by an assessment and includes practical on farm milking sessions. The course itself is designed to develop the skills of the milker to ensure that all cows are milked effectively and efficiently and reduce preventable waste by improving somatic cell counts (SCC) and better milk quality.

Course are available nationwide. For more information or to book a spot on the course call Pat Reilly on 086 4634155 or visit course.



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



Invitation to Trainers to Express Interest

FRS Training are interested in hearing from experienced trainers to join our growing network. We’d like to hear from trainers with at least 1-2 years’ experience training in at least two of the following skill areas. Experience in multiple skill areas is highly regarded.

1. Employability: The delivery of high quality job-focused training that will enable participants to meet learning and development needs, including building interview skills and CV preparation.

2. Sales, communication and time management skills.

3. IT / ECDL: The delivery of IT training including Microsoft Office / ECDL.

4. Health & safety: The delivery of high quality training in the areas of health and safety management, manual handling, occupational first aid and Safe Pass.

5. Security: Delivery of security training in door & guarding, door security procedures, fire safety, legislation and security supervision.

6. Retail: Delivery of retail training in customer service, legislation, communications, selling and display.

7. Childcare: Delivery of childcare training in early childhood care (Level 5).

8. Construction: Delivery of construction training in the operation of machines / equipment to industry standards, including: mobile access tower, forklift, mini digger and site dumper.

9. Manufacturing: Delivery of manufacturing training including: production assembly, manufacturing processes, equipment and quality assurance.

10. Warehousing: The delivery of warehouse operations and functions training including: stock and orders, stock control and management, communications and health and safety.

11. Catering: The delivery of catering skills training including: food safety, meal service, short order and kitchen skills and customer service.

12. Hospitality: The delivery of hospitality training including: hospitality operations, customer service, food & beverage and health and safety.

13. Contact Centre: Delivery of call centre operations and administration including: customer service, inbound and outbound communications and selling.

Please send your CV to

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

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

Article: Half the Hours spent on the Farm with FRS

Undoubtedly farming is one of the most difficult and life threatening occupations people in Ireland have today. Not only is it time consuming, it is also both physically and emotionally demanding. According to latest statistics released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Farmers continue to work the longest hours per week in Ireland.
Recent CSO figures for 2015 show that Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing have the highest average usual hours worked per week at 50.4 hours. Interestingly, 2015 conveyed that farmers have worked longer hours so far this year than any year since 2010.
Although safety measures have definitely improved on farms in recent years, farmers are still busier and stress levels are extremely high. The whole health side of a farmer’s life can and is being threatened due to their massive work load and lack of rest.
Last year, figures show farmers only worked 47 hours per week, three hours less than this year. Other CSO figures released for 2015, show that self – employed people had average usual hours worked per week of 44.6 hours with employees working 34.5 average usual hours per week. Part time workers on the other hand, worked an average usual hours of 19.3 hours per week.
Time is a valuable resource. Although being a farmer involves a large amount of commitment, it is vital that some time is given to a ‘Social Life’ especially farmers with young families. House and family duties need to be shared but time, also needs to be spent doing things outside the farm together.
FRS put farmers first and so we offer a range of time saving Specialised Services which help farmers reduce working hours on the farm and gain some time for them-selves. These include:
• Power Washing
• Relief Milking
• Hoof care
• Cow Pregnancy Scanning
• Sheep Pregnancy Scanning
• Calf Dehorning
• Farm Safety Training
• Waste Plastic Collection
• FRS Bin & Liner System

Clever technology is the newest way for farmers to save time on the farm. Herdwatch is a perfect example of this. Herdwatch is a newly developed farming app which has proven to save farmers up to four hours a week on paperwork such as calf registrations and remedies recording, for less than 30 cent a day.
For every 60 calves, a dairy or suckler farmer can expect to save 10 hours using Herdwatch and this doesn’t even take into account cost savings (40 euro in stamps alone) or time saved by reducing errors and not having to keep handwritten notes.
Farmers can also expect to save more time by recording remedies directly into Herdwatch on their smartphone, on the go, even with no internet connection. Once the information is recorded, the farm is fully compliant with remedies recording requirements from the Dept of Agriculture and Bord Bia.
Almost 1,000 farmers have signed up to Herdwatch and the feedback has been extremely positive, in fact, more than half the farmers who have recently signed up did so because another farmer told them how good it was.
If you are a dairy or beef farmer and want to save up to four hours a week and have the peace of mind of being compliant at all times, subscribe to Herdwatch now for just €99 inc VAT.
For more information on what FRS has to offer you to help you save hours on the farm check out our website:

News: Win a Set of Tickets every week in the run up to The Tullamore Show with FRS

AIB060R0106 Tullamore Show Logo V4 approved.indd

FRS, FBD and H.S.A will be pulling their strengths together at theTullamore Show to bring Farm Safety to you with Live demonstrations. We want you to be there and are giving you a chance to win a set of tickets every week on the run up to the show on the 9th of August.

All you need to do is “Like, Share and Tag” Two of your Friends on our Facebook page and be in with a chance of winning a set of these tickets.

Check out our Facebook Page to enter

Good Luck!