Brigid O’Connor

Brigid O’Connor is a lifelong farmer from Camp County Kerry where she runs an organic sheep farming system. Brigid breeds 120 scotch ewes on 54 hectares. The farm is made up of 3 different land types – permanent pasture, heath and commonage. The farm is very extensively managed with minimal external inputs. The family have farmed the land for generations and Brigid is proud to carry on traditional methods of farming handed down to her from her parents and grandparents - “Growing up on a farm, you learn from your parents and your grandparents. I remember my grandfather teaching me things about sheep and it is knowledge that I still use today”.

Brigid acknowledges and respects the high nature value of the land she farms, and its importance from a wildlife and biodiversity perspective. The land has never been reseeded and is managed is the most natural and low-impact manner possible. The bog contains a wonderful array of wildflowers including the rare Kerry Violet. There is a healthy population of pheasant nesting on the farm and the Hen Harrier is frequently seen overhead. Brigid diversified by the farm by running farm tours where she explains the history of the land and the importance of the farmland habitats. She was also recently involved the launch of the book “The beauty of the bogs of Kerry”. Brigid has a deep love for the land she cares for and sees herself as a custodian of the land.

Nomination:
Brigid is an organic sheep farmer in Camp, Co. Kerry. The farm is a hill farm overlooking the scenic Tralee bay. Brigid has 120 scotch ewes on approx. 50Ha. The farm consists of 3 distinct area, there is some permanent pasture land (lightly interspersed with rush cover), then there is privately owned mountain type heath and also commonage at top of hill which Brigid shares with one other farmer. Brigid also runs on farm walking tours and has great knowledge of local history and the value of the habitats on her farm. Brigid brings minimal inputs onto her farm, mainly a small amount of feed for her ewes prior to lambing. Brigid was also recently involved the launch of the book “The beauty of the bogs of Kerry”. She is very proud of the fact that she has a rare plant the “Kerry Violet” growing on her farm. Brigid values the biodiversity on her farm and really enjoys explaining this value to any visitors to her farm and I feel Brigid would be a fantastic ambassador for the farming for nature series. There is an open walk on Brigid’s farm on March 30th .
Nominator: Joe Kelleher, Organic Specialist, Teagasc

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