I think Michael deserves full credit and definitely national recognition for his work in farming for nature. Michael is a part-time suckler farmer situated in Inagh county Clare who devotes his farming love to nature and wildlife.
Michael is tremendously running a suckler enterprise on his fifth-generation family farm which is around 60 acres in size. michael is a member of Glas the Green, Low Carbon, Agri-environment scheme and prior to this a reps member. Michaels farm is Bord Bia quality assured and on his last audit got 99%. On his farm, Michael has been lucky enough to have won the FBD National farmyard and livestock award for 2016. In 2017 he got Irelands Zurich farm safety award along with runner up in Zurich livestock. Also in 2017, he got excellence in farm safety award in the FBD farmer of the year awards.
Michael holds many Glas training and health and safety classes on his immaculate farm in North Clare. Michael stresses the importance of farm safety along with inspiring other farmers to do what they can fo nature. Recently Michael was shortlisted as a sustainable farmer in the Talamh awards which recognise the environment and social sustainability.
Michael has 100% pastureland with lots of Flora and Fauna to be seen throughout. Michael is also in the low-input permanent pasture in place in his farm. Hedgerows are popular sight around Michaels farm along with shelterbelts. Michael promotes biodiversity to the highest. Michael has planted various species of hedging stretching from Green Beech, to Blackthorn, along with ornamental trees and series of mature ash trees.
Michael has a fabricated unit for the easy collection of bale plastic. Michael has second to none handling facilities to ensure animal safety. A fully concreted yard for the ease of maintenance is in place.
Michael maintains a small stretch of a traditional stone wall on the farm and really admires the skilled craftsmanship it took to construct them many years ago. Michael has a batch of suckler cows which calves outside every springtime. This Michael feels is a great way to raise a calf out in nature. It's much healthier
Michael is the chairman of the Inagh I.F.A Branch. Michael has selected low input permanent pasture fields. He has bird boxes scattered around the farm along with piles of sand for the conservation of solitary bees. Michael annually trims his hedges along the main road just cutting off the bare minimum. Michael maintains his hedgerows in fields to his own standard to avoid interfering with any habitats and animals. this avoids noise pollution as Michael trims them the old fashioned way with clippers but is undoubtedly a greener way in trimming.
Michael strictly spreads slurry in dry weather conditions using low-emission slurry spreading. Michael protects the watercourses from bovines fencing off the watercourses and also fencing off hedging for wildlife to enjoy.
Nominator: Joe Larkin, Dry Stock Advisor, Teagasc