Fifteen dairy finalists were selected from the 16,200 dairy farms which are members of Bord Bia’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme. These are among the leading farms nationally with regard to the efficient, sustainable production of high quality milk.
The dairy finalists represent different Co-Ops which are themselves participating in the Origin Green programme. Read more about the three dairy category winners below.
Hornhill, Lissarda, Co. Cork
The Crowley farm is very much family orientated. They are milking 136 cows on a 72hectare grazing platform. The Crowley’s reseed 6% of their farm annually and soil pH is monitored closely. An aeration system is used in the slurry storage tanks so that slurry is always ready to spread when an opportunity arises in the open period and a trailing shoe is used to spread the slurry to minimise nitrogen loss. Biodiversity is taken seriously on this dairy farm. Over the years new hedges have been planted, existing hedges have been coppiced and watercourses have been fenced off to prevent pollution. A large man made pond and island developed by Trevor’s father is an interesting feature and an alternative water source for times of drought.
Mairead & Pat McLoughlin
Thomastown, Rath, Birr, Co. Offaly
Mairead McLoughlin and her husband Pat are new entrants to farming, not to mention dairying. They took over the management of the farm from Maireads father in 2012. The Mcloughlins milk 56 cows currently with plans of increasing this number to 66 on an 18ha milking platform, with a further five hectares available to graze 400m up the road. They also run dairy replacements and a small dairy to beef enterprise on a leased outblock. They are great believers in technology and use Moo Monitors for heat detection and to observe cow health.
Approximately 85% of cows calve in the first six weeks and all cows are bred via AI. Grass is measured weekly on the farm and grazing decisions are based on the results of the walk. The farm yard is kept immaculately clean and tidy.
Shane & Dermot O'Loughlin
Oghill, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare
Shane O’Loughlin started farming with his father Dermot full-time in 2005 after spending some time travelling and working on farms in the Canada, US and New Zealand. They currently have 190 spring-calving cows and 50 autumn-calvers on their farm in Oghill, Monasterevin, Co Kildare. There is 64ha in the grazing platform and a further 86ha of outblocks. He is a council member of Glanbia and also participates in the Fresh Milk Producers group (FMP). Herd health is monitored closely and prevention of common diseases is covered with a broad vaccination protocol as well as biosecurity measures.
He is always looking to simplify his system to make the farm as labour-efficient as possible.