Tipperary Farmers win Origin Green Farmer Awards for Beef

Noel Farrell, Golden, Cashel, Tipperary

Origin Green judges visit

Picture credit: Jeff Harvey

Noel Farrell, Golden, Cashel, Tipperary Origin Green judges visit. Picture credit: Jeff Harvey

 

Nicholas Bergin from Roscrea and Noel Farrell from Golden took home top awards for beef farming at this week’s Bord Bia Origin Green Farmer Awards, held at The Heritage Hotel, Killenard on 12th December.

Noel Farrell and his wife, Joan, run an 85-cow suckler-to-beef herd alongside a herd of milking goats in Golden. They were awarded winners in the Suckler-to-beef category at the awards. The judges were impressed with the Farrell’s under 16 month production system, finishing bulls to 400kg market requirements. Noel has identified milk yield as the main driver of suckler-herd performance and honed in on a system that ensures this flourishes with top grassland management.

Nicholas Bergin farms near Roscrea, with help from his wife Bernie, father Danny and children Carol and Danny. Nicholas was awarded top prize in the Suckler-to-weanling/store production category at the awards. Nicholas’s Limousin-cross suckler herd is crossed with carefully-selected artificial insemination (AI) sires, to produce highly-muscled, healthy weanlings for live export to Greece. He has grown his herd from 60 to 80 suckler cows in 2018, following investment in housing and handling facilities. According to the judges, cattle handling, management of animals around calving and housing facilities were all first rate.

 

Nicholas and Danny Bergin, Roscrea

. Origin Green judges visit

Picture credit: Jeff Harvey

Nicholas and Danny Bergin, Roscrea

. Origin Green judges visit

Picture credit: Jeff Harvey

The Tipperary winners were among 11 category winners as Bord Bia honoured Ireland’s most sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly family farms. Over 240 farmers and senior representatives from farming organisations and the agri-food industry gathered to celebrate the achievements of the finalists, drawn from the dairy, beef and horticulture sectors across the country.

In total, 39 finalists competed for the prestigious awards following a rigorous process that included on-farm judging by teams from Bord Bia, Teagasc, the Irish Farmers Journal, UCD and IT Blanchardstown.

Opening the awards ceremony Bord Bia’s Chairperson Dan MacSweeney highlighted the importance of sustainable food production to the future of Irish farming and rural economies: “In addition to supporting on-farm sustainability efforts, Origin Green supports our marketing and sales efforts, playing a key role in helping us meet the ambitious targets of Food Wise 2025, which see our food and drink exports grow to €19 billion annually by the middle of the next decade.

 

This isn’t just a win for industry, it translates into more value coming back to the rural economy right across Ireland, as growth in sustainably produced food and drink delivers jobs and activity to local communities now and in the future.”

 

Presenting the awards Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy paid tribute to the achievements of all the finalists: “The pursuit of excellence by Origin Green farmers is at the heart of the Irish food and drink industry’s export success in a challenging consumer-driven trading environment.

 

Bord Bia highlights these family farms to food buyers who are looking for living examples of the highest values in Irish food production.  When they visit these farms they see the commitment to protecting the land and its environment for future generations of food producers and consumers.

Tonight’s finalists are producing beef with a 40% lower carbon footprint than the average producer and producing milk with a 16% lower carbon impact.  These are the solid proof points that impress international customers who are seeking solutions to their consumers’ demands for more sustainably produced food.  It is from this foundation that we can build durable relationships with food buyers for the food we export.”

 

All finalists will be invited by Bord Bia to participate in an organised visit to an overseas market to see how the organisation uses their achievements in sustainability to win new business.

 

Category Winners:

Beef

Suckler to beef

Noel Farrell

Golden, Cashel, Co. Tipperary

Suckler to weanling/store production

Nicholas Bergin

Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Weanling/store to beef production

David Auchmuty

Ballygalda, Co. Roscommon

Dairy calf to beef production

Derek and Gareth Peoples

Carrigans, Co. Donegal

Dairy

Reduced carbon footprint

The Crowley Family (Trevor Crowley)

Dairygold co-op

Lissarda, Co. Cork

Small/med herd (herds from 45-80 cows)

Mairead and Pat McLoughlin

Lakeland Co-op

Rath, Co. Offaly

Large herd (herds of 100+ cows)

Shane and Dermot O’Loughlin

Glanbia co-op

Oghill, Co. Kildare

Horticulture

Mushrooms

Reilly Mushrooms

Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Protected crops and fruit

Flynn’s Tomatoes

Bealinstown, Swords, Co. Dublin

Potatoes

Kilmore Potatoes (Chris and John Fortune)

Ballyhealy, Kilmore, Co. Wexford

Field vegetables

John B Dockrell

Screen, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

About Origin Green

Origin Green is a unique sustainability programme developed by Bord Bia to demonstrate the commitment of the entire Irish food and drink industry to operating sustainably – in terms of greenhouse gas emission, energy conservation, water management, biodiversity, community initiatives and health and nutrition. Since 2012, more than 580 Irish companies, representing 90 per cent of Irish exports have signed up, while at farm level, Bord Bia has conducted in excess of over 120,000 carbon assessments to measure and help improve the environmental performance of Irish farms.

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