Monday February 17, 2020

A Fertile Future?

The Irish family farm is under more pressure than ever before. Can it survive in a world of industrialised production methods, environmental concerns, and the never-ending demand for cheap food?

17th March, 2019
Dermot O’Loughlin with his son Shane and grandson Tony at their farm in KildarePicture: Barry Cronin

Eighty-year-old Dermot O’Loughlin reckons he has spent around a quarter of a million euro educating his six children. “The cows paid for that,” he says, as he heads into his Kildare farmhouse for coffee with his son Shane (38). “Shane is up at 5.30am and is checking newly-born calves at 11pm at night.”

Late to bed, early to rise: it’s the way of life for dairy farmers who manage hundreds...

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