Farming for Nature Welcomes Mayo Mixed Farmer to the Network

The Farming for Nature (FFN) project is delighted to welcome Mayo farmer, Eamon McDonagh and his family to their growing Ambassador network.

“This farm is a testament to what can be achieved when a love of nature is coupled with a passion for local, sustainable food and when diversification is championed over specialisation.” says Eamon McDonagh.

The McDonagh family run an organic mixed farm in county Mayo. They keep cows, sheep, pigs, ducks and hens. They grow 2 acres of organic root vegetables which are sold locally. They have planted over 8 acres of mixed broadleaf forestry on the land. The mature hedgerows and field boundaries are left to grow naturally and serve as important habitats for birds and other wildlife. They continue to plant trees on the farm every year.

Relying on very few external inputs, the family have built a farm that is highly self-sufficient and resilient to

environmental and economic shocks. The grazing paddocks contain a diverse mix of grasses and herbs. The animals provide manure which is a crucial source of fertility for the vegetable beds. They use green manures to naturally increase the nitrogen content of the soil where the vegetables are grown.

Eamon has worked with draft horses and more recently with oxen to work the land. The draft animals are used to carry out many of the farm tasks – from harvesting trees from the wooded part of the farm to harrowing vegetable beds. The McDonagh’s have hosted farm walks on the farm for Slow Food Ireland and the Small Growers Network.

Now in its fifth year, Farming For Nature was set up with an aim to source, share and celebrate the stories of farmers across Ireland who manage their land in a way that sustains nature, while providing a livelihood for their family. The McDonaghs are part of 2022’s  fifteen ambassadors that come from across Ireland and include beef, sheep, forestry, dairy, horticulture and tillage farmers who manage a wide range of very valuable habitats including species-rich grasslands and heaths, wetlands, woodlands and hedgerows. The Farming For Nature ambassador network is made up of family farms, couples, and both male and female farmers.

FFN is featuring their newly awarded Ambassadors on a monthly basis until late summer 2023. Keep an eye on FFN’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms to learn more about these wonderful farmers and the valuable work they are doing for nature on their land. FFN will work with these inspiring ambassadors to produce farm videos, podcasts, ‘Ask the Farmer’ sessions, farm walks and more. Go to to learn about this incredible network of Ambassador farmers and to access further information, resources and tips.

The Farming for Nature Awards are sponsored by Bord Bia and supported by a wide range of farming and conservation interests including the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Rural Network.

For more information go The McDonagh Family Farm here




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