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#Trimilk a glass half full


January blues

Unless you have been under a rock in January, the great food debate has been in full swing. Our complex food systems analyzed and pondered on. There has been a degree of pontification and certainly some misinformation flying around as well.


When you are involved in agriculture it has been undeniably hard at times. It’s been hard not to be influenced by many negative stories around animal agriculture’s role in, well everything.


My day job has positioned me in the “we have many challenges, now let’s focus on potential solutions?” camp. The complexity of these challenges doesn’t mean simple narratives and ideologies can simply solve these problems. With nearly a third of our world in food poverty, it is hard at times, to not feel like the glass is half empty.

With close to 1 billion people undernourished (many starving) and 1 billion people overnourished (obesity). I think we have some work to do…..

Its probably time for more science, collaboration, and innovation. Negative soundbites create distractions from some big challenges.


What I have found significant is the impact this constant negativity towards agriculture is having on the people that work hard to feed us. This doesn’t mean any of us can make like an ostrich and simply pretend the status quo will do. We all must do better, with the number one challenge being climate change.


My basic understanding and experience of effecting any type of change are we must start by recognizing the many positives.


I have found that reinforcing the positives is as, if not more important than a constant focus on the negatives.

My day job and my working life will be about challenges and problem-solving.  I need to make sure that for agriculture and selfishly myself that I continue to be reminded of all the positives.


The power of positivity

I was lucky last week to do a training day with a wonderful group of dairy farmers. One of that farm team was a lady who was truly inspiring. Not just, in how she had embraced dairy farming, expansion, her cows, science, and hard work. It was her attitude towards farming that made me sit back in awe. Just one of the many incredible people working hard in Irish agriculture. Not just to be a great farmer, but to help the team of people around her. Her focus now was on how her system was going to adapt to the new challenges of the next decade.


A timely and gentle reminder for me, to continue to stand up for what’s good and not forget the many positives.


Setting goals


This is an area that I have become fascinated with over the last number of years. How we can get more out of ourselves and understanding more about human potential, but importantly looking at how we can achieve it.

I set goals and plans now regularly. I don’t always hit the mark mind you. But it helps when you know where the goalposts are.

This year I wanted to set a fitness goal. Healthy body, healthy mind and all that jazz. Watch the video attached for the reasons why I picked a triathlon.

So in late May, I’m going to set out to complete my 2nd triathlon, 10 years after my first. It won’t be easy, a busy work schedule is balanced with busy family life. I’m certainly no athlete and completing this challenge will be a success for me!


If nothing else sharing my goal with some people will mean I’m more likely to complete it! Look at me all selfish again.


#trimilk and human health


I love Dr. Paddy Walls’ view, that farming is not in the business of food production but it is the business of human health. With five young kids in our house, dairy is an important part of their diet. We love dairy in our house and we aim for a balanced diet.

I just happen to know a little bit about how it’s made and that makes me very proud. don’t worry my favorite animal is not an ostrich, and know that our farming systems aren’t perfect. That’s the day job!


So I want to combine my fitness goals for 2020 with my passion for cows and milk. I’m going to use #trimilk to talk about training with milk and also learning myself more about this fantastic superfood. I will be making an effort to showcase in my opinion the many positives under #trimilk.

Anyone who knows me will also know I like to have fun. So this for me is a little passion project for 2020. Reinforcing the positive messages about milk.

I will not be bombarding people with what I’m having for breakfast every day. I will be doing fortnightly blogs on #trimilk and yes the glass will always be half full!


There is very exciting research on-going regarding the role of milk in sport, with potential roles emerging in the areas of rehydration and in helping to alleviate muscle damage after intense exercise.

The natural nutritional composition of milk has been attributed to its effectiveness as a recovery option after sport/exercise.


Some of the people, some of the time

You will never keep everyone happy. I have no arguments with people who for ethical reasons don’t agree with animal agriculture. So I will continue to focus on the people who do want to know more. There is great freedom in knowing what you’re about. It means being comfortable in your own skin and with your own ideas. This will not be everybody’s cup of tea, some will pass on the milk. Some people like the green stuff and some like coffee.

So this is for the milk drinkers and those who prefer a glass half full, with milk of course!


Happy safe farming everyone


Ps. here is what I’ve learned so far about training with milk! It is now time to put down the books, hop in the pool, jump on the bike and run like …….


Milk and training

  • Is a good source of fluid which naturally contains the electrolytes sodium and potassium to assist with rehydration, as we lose water through sweating when we exercise
  • provides some natural carbohydrate to assist refueling of energy stores
  • is rich in high-quality protein which plays a role in muscle growth and maintenance
  • Offers a range of nutrients such as calcium for bone health; as well as iodine, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B2 and vitamin B12 which all have important roles in health.
  • is recognized as a convenient, affordable and accessible option post-sport/exercise


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