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Tag Archives: farming

Aoife gets with the programme

Farmer Aoife Forde sings the praises of agriculture schemes tailored to their areas, such as the one in The Burren AOIFE Forde feels privileged to be born and raised in the Burren in the middle of a such a unique landscape. The 24-year-old agricultural science graduate and suckler farmer loves working on the family farm, which is is situated about three miles from Carron, just a stone’s throw from Mullaghmore, Sliabh Rua and Knockanes, most of which is owned by the state through the Burren National Park. Aoife describes the Burren as a magical place and really appreciates growing up surrounded by the rocky limestone outcrop. “You can get a sense of people that came before you. You see stone walls that are standing there for hundreds of years. You can see the ring forts and all the old cattle pens. I just feel privileged about where I was born and raised.” She agrees that efforts must continue to protect …

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Clare farmer’s biodiversity win

JOE Melody, a dairy and purebred suckler farmer from Bunratty, has been named the 2020 National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year at this year’s FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards. The National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award recognises a farmer who is farming sustainably by encouraging biodiversity and protecting the environment. Joe farms 360 acres in partnership with his father. Around 260 acres of the farm is used for the purebred suckler cows, their calves, and rearing the dairy replacement heifers. He is an active participant in the Green Low-carbon Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS), where habitats such as Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP) and Traditional Hay Meadows (THM) are preserved. He is passionate about biodiversity and is aware of the importance of maintaining these habitats for birds and wildlife. The farm borders the Shannon estuary with over 3km of riverbank. The riverbank is immersed in reed bed that intersperses with salt marsh, all of which …

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Melody hits high note as Clare Macra Young Farmer of the Year

IT was music to the ears of Bunratty farmer Joe Melody to discover that he has been named Clare Macra Young Farmer of the Year. Having come on top at the county rounds, Joe will now go on to represent Clare in the 2020 Macra na Feirme FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition. Joe runs both a dairy and beef enterprise. The Clare native milks a herd of 139 Holstein-cross British Friesian cows, along with a pedigree herd of Charolais and Limousin cows. In 2015, Joe was milking 75 cows and since then have expanded and are now milking 139 cows; however, the hope is to go further again and milk around 160-170 cows in the near future. Explaining the expansion of the dairy enterprise over the last few years, Joe said, “We bought a lot of breeding stock, from a local farmer, such as in-calf cows and heifers, as well as breeding our own replacements. At the moment, …

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Farm dangers warning by Clare Gardai

CLARE Gardaí have warned that farms can be a dangerous, and even lethal, place for children, urging people never to leave their child alone in a farmyard. Crime Prevention Officer Triona Brooks says, “Now that schools are over and the weather is good kids are out and about on farms but farms are a workplace and unfortunately children are killed every year on farms.” She adds, “Never allow a child onto a farmyard unless they are closely supervised by an adult. It’s not possible to safely look after your child and work on the farm at the same time. Dangers on farms include falls, drowning, farm machinery, chemical and poison and farm animals.” Those who live on a farm are being advised to keep children out of work areas and have a fenced off safe play area in view of your home. “Have easy to read danger signs and tell children what they mean. Lock unattended vehicles and leave vehicles …

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Clare dairy farmers prepare for the worst

DAIRY farmers across Clare are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst as peak milk production coincides with the predicted spike in the Covid-19 crisis. In recent days, milk suppliers have been warned by Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) that if the Coronavirus causes the closure of processing plants the impact for the sector could be devastating. Responding to the stark warning, Martin McMahon, Clare Chairperson of ICMSA, said the situation was as major cause for concern. “If any of the milk plants are hit by the virus, and the risk is very real, that would present huge problems for farmers at this time of the year,” he said. “All possible precautions must be taken to protect lorry men and the staff at the dairy plants, for the sake of their own health and for the whole sector. If farmers were forced to reduce their milk volumes, the pressure would be huge. All famers, whether they’re in dairy or …

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Mart goers support for McNamara, cool on Greens & FG

POLITICALLY engaged and numerous throughout the county, the votes of farmers and their families play an important role in every election in Clare. The last year has seen widespread disillusionment in farming, memorably expressed by the beef protests. Speaking to farmers at Ennis Mart on Tuesday it was clear that the dissatisfaction has not abated and none of those who spoke to The Clare Champion were praising Fine Gael’s record on agriculture. Many said they will be voting for East Clare farmer Michael McNamara who was a prominent supporter of last year’s protests. Several others made it clear that they wouldn’t countenance giving any preference to the Green Party whose policies they feel are very clearly against farmers’ interests. One West Clare couple said that farmers are just about able to continue as it is. “People will survive, but that’s all they can do. There’s very little investment in farming other than with grant approval and things like that,” said …

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€45,000 to Clare Agri Show Societies

NINE different agricultural shows in Clare will receive grants of €5,000 each next year as part of nationwide move that aims to offer financial help to organising committees of agricultural shows. Grants were approved for agricultural shows in Bridgetown, Clarecastle, Corofin, Ennistymon, Kildysart, Kilrush, Mullagh, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Scariff. Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has welcomed the €45,000 allocation to the nine Clare Agricultural Show Societies from the Department of Rural and Community Development to help with the financial cost of organising their shows in 2020. Deputy Carey, is the Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Affairs. He said that the money was part of a €600,000 fund being allocated to help 120 local committees meet the financial challenges associated with organising 120 shows around the country during 2020. The investment is being administered through the Irish Shows Association (ISA) and the recipients are all members of that association. “Agricultural shows are a great celebration of all …

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Clare beef protest continues despite promise of talks

PROTESTS are continuing at the Kepak plant in Tiermaclane this afternoon, despite agreement being reached that the Beef Plan Movement and Meat Industry Ireland enter into talks on Monday. The Tiermaclane protest is no longer being run by Beef Plan, and when the Clare Champion visited the site this afternoon, there were still a number of demonstrators there, while the gates of the plant are locked. Joseph Woulfe is Chair of the Beef Plan movement in the county, but at the site today, he said that Beef Plan are no longer co-ordinating the protest. “People are coming who aren’t members of anything, they’re just coming to air what’s going on with them.” While there are reports today that meetings aimed at resolving the situation will take place on Monday, Mr Woulfe said he has very little information as yet. “I had a message on the phone, saying to stand down and we’re talking to Creed and this kind of thing. …

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