June is being celebrated as the Love Dairy month as part of the NI Year of Food and Drink campaign.
With the amount of lush grassland that covers Northern Ireland it is no wonder that our dairy is award-winning. From farmhouse cheeses and spectacular butter to traditional ice cream, we put our dairy to deliciously good use.
There are three dairy farms across Northern Ireland that will open their gates to the public as part of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016.
Donagh Cottage Farm will be taking part in their first Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend this summer. Run by the Matthews family in County Down, visitors will be able to see the afternoon milking, which begins at 2pm each day, with a walk through one side of the parlour.
Calves on the farm are fed via an automatic machine – through technology and a transponder (an electronic necklace worn by the calves), they get fed just the right amount of milk that they need before they move onto a solid food diet.
CAFRE Greenmount is home to the state-of-the-art Dairy Development Unit where 180 cows are milked with a 32 point parlour. This unit incorporates the newest technologies in comfort housing and cow handling, waste management and parlour systems. CAFRE students based at Loughry College’s Food Technology Centre will travel to Greenmount to give out ice cream samples so visitors will have the opportunity to taste delicious dairy during Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend.
Tickety-Moo are once again opening their dairy farm in County Fermanagh. As well as tasting delicious ice cream in a variety of award-winning flavours, visitors can see the pedigree Jersey cows in their natural environment being milked with robotic milkers. These allow the cow to choose when she wants to be milked. Based just 15 minutes outside of Enniskillen, this is a must-visit farm for all ice cream lovers!
You can find out more information about all the farms, including their specific opening times, over on our farm section.
Want to enjoy some local dairy produce but need some inspiration? Check out these tasty recipes, courtesy of Taste of Ulster:
Did you know?
Milk is a safe break time choice for children’s teeth! Milk and water are the only drinks recommended by dentists for between meals. As well as calcium, milk provides lots of other essential nutrients including protein, potassium, iodine, phosphorus and B-vitamins.