Limerick man joins ranks of sustainable farming ambassadors

Limerick man Paddy O'Kelly is the latest NDC Ambassador.

A LIMERICK farmer has joined the ranks of the National Dairy Council’s (NDC) Farmer Ambassador programme.

Paddy O’Kelly, from Broadford, will join NDC’s troop of exceptional dairy farmers who continue to spread the message of sustainable dairy production across Ireland.

Paddy went to agricultural college in Pallaskenry, then spent three years with the farm apprenticeship board working in farms in Kerry and Cork before spending  a year travelling and working on farms in New Zealand and Australia, returning home in 1999 to take over his family farm.

Paddy is the seventh generation on this family farm, his father is 89 and still very involved.

“My dad milked about 60 cows and he had some beef cattle. He didn’t rent any land. Milk prices are similar to what they are now, believe it or not, but costs were a third of what they are now. They made a very good living on 60 cows,” Paddy explained.

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“I am really delighted to be a new NDC Ambassador. A lot of emphasis has been placed on sustainability in recent years with the introduction of clover in the grass sward, low emission slurry spreading, planting of hedges, and energy efficiencies.

“It’s so important to balance the debate and show how farmers are making positive strides to meet the challenges in lowering emissions.”

The current group consists of 15 Farmer Ambassadors who act as advocates and spokespeople for Ireland’s family-farm-based, grass-fed dairy production system.

They are champions for the many initiatives being employed to make Irish dairy more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.