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Nearly 25,000 schoolchildren join in celebration of La Fheile Bainne from Galway-based farm

September 29, 2023

Michael Geary

Agri Aware and the National Dairy Council (NDC) and 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 27.

Galway dairy farmers Henry and Trish Walsh and their 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 Agri Aware and NDC teams were also delighted to welcome nearly 25,000 primary schoolchildren from all over Ireland who logged on from the comfort of 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 Agri Aware and NDC 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.

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.”

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.