Gerard Deegan

Gerard Deegan is a lifelong farmer from Co. Westmeath. The farm has been certified organic for over 20 years. Originally a dairy farmer, Gerard transitioned to a mixed beef and forestry enterprise back in 2012. There is now 100 acres of forestry on the land – 50% hardwood and 50% softwood. Gerard is an advocate for diverse forestry systems, he practices continuous cover forestry and has incorporated wildlife strips between rows of trees. There are approximately 60 different species of trees on the farm – including Norway spruce, Scots pine, Larch, Douglas Fir, Ash, Oak, Sycamore, Beech and many more. Gerard won the RDS Farm Forestry Award in 2019. Additionally, he manages a small suckler herd producing organic beef. He also keeps bees, producing honey for neighbours and friends.

Gerard holds a holistic outlook on his farm, understanding and valuing the importance of every living creature on the land – from the microscopic soil fungi to the cattle, from the bees to the oak trees. “The bees are a lesson in life. They have taught me a lot about nature. How we are all connected, and how everyone has a role to play, no matter how big or small that role may be...” An advocate for the importance of community, Gerard is involved in Social Farming and a member of Leitrim Organic Farmers Coop since 1990.

Nomination Description:
Gerard Deegan is a Suckler Beef Farmer outside of Mullingar and has been Organic for over 20 years He has been a meber of Leitrim Organic Farmers since 1990 . Gerard has incorporated forestry on his land first under FEPS and practices silvopastural and continuous cover forestry. He has also incorporated wildlife strips on the farm between the trees. He has an apiary on the farm with approximately 1 million bees , has a solar array for providing some of his electricity needs and a reed bed system for dealing with runoff from the farmyard . Gerard is also a Social farmer rehabilitating people with special needs through the special environment he has created on the farm. This is a truly unique oasis of biodiversity in a sea of monocultues

See attached link to RDS Forestry award win

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