€2.3m Dairy Research and Education Facility opens at UCD Lyons Research Farm

Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine Mr. Simon Coveney TD with UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks overlooking the rotary parlour at the newly opened Dairy Research and Education Facility at UCD Lyons Research Farm.

The dairy industry in Ireland is set to receive a big boost with a multi-million world-class Dairy Research and Education facility at UCD Lyons Research Farm.
The project is spearheaded by UCD as well as leaders in the agri-food industry such as Dairymaster, Devenish Nutrition, FBD, Glanbia, Munster Cattle Breeding Group, Progressive Genetics and the Irish Holstein Friesian Association.

The Dairy Research and Education facility at UCD Lyons Research Farm will be of enormous value to students, researchers and industry to help secure Ireland’s international reputation as a country dedicated to excellence in the agri-food sector. The new facility will showcase the latest in cutting edge dairy technology that is being exported all over the world.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. today officially opened the new state of the art €2.3m Dairy Research and Education Facility at UCD. Speaking at the launch, Minister Coveney welcomed the partnership between academia and industry, while also highlighting the important role of UCD educating future leaders of the agri-food sector and conducting world-class innovative research with impact. The Minister stated “I would like to congratulate UCD and many of the most progressive dairy organisations in Ireland on this exciting strategic partnership that will create new opportunities, jobs and increase the value of Irish dairy exports. UCD plays a critical role in the Irish agri-food sector and this project builds on a range of innovative programmes already in place.”

This partnership will greatly enhance UCD’s capacity to investigate innovative models of milk production and provides an excellent environment for teaching and research connected with dairy sciences. Some of the planned research already in the pipeline relates to genetics, nutrition, reproduction of dairy cows and herd health management. For Ireland to maintain its position as world leaders in the dairy industry having this capability and resources is vital.

UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks paid tribute to the generous contributions received from leading Irish agribusiness and agri-food organisations that helped fund the facility and acknowledged their vision and commitment to growing Ireland’s dairy exports, which were valued at €3.24bn in 2015. By 2020, Irish milk production is expected to increase by 50% to over 7.5bn litres.

President Deeks remarked “UCD has always been at the forefront of supporting Ireland’s vital agri-food sector. This development is designed to continue this role as we train the future leaders of the sector. Without the support of our industry partners, this cutting edge development in dairy sciences would not be possible.”

As a result of the investment at UCD, the dairy enterprise will have an increased capacity for 200 cows. The herd will be comprised of spring calving and autumn calving groups and the research emphasis will initially be on maximising the potential for milk production from grass, while also investigating the economic potential for concentrate supplementation at different milk price levels.

UCD and the industry group involved with this project last week received a significant €1m Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Project, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, demonstrating the potential of this exciting partnership.

The UCD Lyons Research Farm is located near Celbridge, Co Kildare and operates under the auspices of the UCD College of Health and Agricultural Sciences. The farm operates mixed enterprises, supporting teaching and research in the areas of beef, crops, dairy, equine, sheep and pigs and is used by the Schools of Agriculture and Food Science, and Veterinary Medicine. UCD is the only University in Ireland with a dedicated School of Agriculture and Food Science and School of Veterinary Medicine and the University offers a range of innovative programmes spanning the entire food chain.

Related links

See event imagery

UCD Dairy Research and Education Facility infographic