Bruce Thompson

NOMINATION DESCRIPTION
Bruce is an intensive Dairy farmer operating a conventional grass based system. He is the 8th generation of his family milking on his farm. Since the abolition of milk quotas, he has increased his herd 400%. His achievements are very much in line with the Teagasc dairy road map and takes great pride in his achievements while still being able to point out his own mistakes. Bruce is very involved in industry as he sits as Chairperson on the his area Glanbia board. He believes that Ireland is a fantastic place to produce good clean food and our reputation of "Clean, Green" is something to take pride in. However he also believes we can't take that for granted. Bruce takes a lot of pride in "his" environment, getting excited to show off "his" Buzzards, red squirrels or pine Martins. He is very much aligned with the thinking that changes will have to take place at farm level to restore the environment. He believes that by gaining the trust of other conventional farmers and influencing small changes at a time, a massive impact could be witnessed as opposed to asking a small few to make a fundamental change. Bruce has a particular interest in reducing animal remedies through prevention, with a focus on animal wormers. He has made dramatic reductions in his wormer usage by making use of his farm microscope for diagnosis and pioneering new grazing strategies. He is confident that by making some changes, the conventional system can be made more environmentally friendly and still have the same production output. He believes a drop in production is only creating a vacuum. He gives a lot of credit to his beloved dung beetles. He believes that with more dung pats there should be more beetles, more beetles would mean more food for birds and bats so their populations should flourish also.....but its not happening. To figure out why, he is currently researching the relationship between dung beetles and wormers with a Nuffield Scholarship and has just prematurely returned home from Australia and Tasmania due to Coronavirus restrictions. Bruce has stated that his life long goal on his farm is to leave it in an enhanced ecological position than when he got it, ".....and it was pretty good when I got it"
Nominator: Peter Dunne, Chairman, Regenerative Farming Ireland

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