Monasterevin farmers shortlisted for awards

Bord Bia’s Origin Green Farmer Awards

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Monasterevin farmers shortlisted for awards

Shane and Dermot O'Loughlin with the judges

Two diary farmers from Monasterevin have been shortlisted for Bord Bia’s Origin Green Farmer Awards.

Shane and Dermot O'Loughlin, dairy farmers from Monasterevin, who supply Glanbia co-op have been nominated in the ‘Large Herd’ category at the awards.  Shane began farming with his father Dermot full time in 2005 after spending some time travelling and working on farms in Canada, USA and New Zealand. They currently have 190 spring calving cows and 50 autumn calvers.

Their farm, along with the 38 other participating farms, meets high standards around hygiene, farm safety, traceability, animal welfare, remedy use and commitment to their locality.  The overall category winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Heritage Hotel, Killenard, on Wednesday 12 December.

With the Origin Green programme, Ireland is the first country in the world to audit and carbon footprint its livestock farms, currently at a rate of 650 a week, under what is in effect a national programme providing measurement and feedback to farmers for continuous improvement in how they farm.

The results represent a unique selling point for Irish food exports, proving that farmers are operating with due care for the surrounding environment, resulting in a low *carbon footprint.

Chief Executive of Bord Bia Tara McCarthy paid tribute to the achievements of all the finalists, saying: “The farmers chosen as finalists for these awards are already regarded by the industry as being among the very best.  Their commitment to sustainable production through the Origin Green programme and willingness to have their achievements judged by a panel of experts shows their ambition to be the best and to make the Irish food and drink industry a world leader.

She added: “These are the farmers Bord Bia will be looking to when we are demonstrating to food buyers the solid foundations on which the Irish food and drink industry has been built and why it is sustainable into the future.”

Participating farms meet high standards around hygiene, farm safety, traceability, animal welfare, remedy use and commitment to their locality.