Sean Condon is an organic dairy farmer from Crecora County Limerick. He farms about 140 acres of good grassland and runs an extensive dairy farming system, milking 50 cows once a day. External inputs on the farm are extremely low and Sean takes pride in managing a low-input, low intensity productive farm. Some of the milk produced is sold under Sean’s own brand of organic raw milk – Templeroe milk. The remainder is sold to the Little Milk Company. Sean is passionate about maintaining traditional farming systems whereby production and nature work in harmony - “For me, farming for nature may be more about what I'm not doing rather than what I am doing”.
Permanent pasture, mature hedgerows, pockets of woodland and a pond all provide important habitats for the healthy population of birds and other wildlife on the land. Some years ago, a reed-bed system was installed to clean run-off water from the farmyard. Sean leaves wild plants grow around the farm and recognises their importance in farmland ecosystems - “if you don't have some weeds on the land then you don't have insects, and without insects there is not much food source for young birds”.
Sean is an organic dairy farmer for the past 17 years and is milking 50 cows in a very extensive organic system. Cows are milked once a day on this farm and a portion of the milk produced is sold as raw organic milk under Sean’s own brand – Templeroe milk. Sean is a big believer in working with nature and not pushing the system and matches his stocking rate to what will grow naturally on his farm. External inputs are kept a minimum on this farm with only a small amount of concentrate feed fed in the winter months to allow him supply milk for his bottled milk customers. He is a big believer in maintaining permanent pasture allowing a variety of pasture species to flourish in his paddocks. He also allows all hedgerows to mature naturally and does not trim his hedgerows and he has many examples of wonderful mature hedgerows that provide fantastic habitats for birds and other small mammals. Sean beds all his cows on a straw bed and uses the resultant farmyard manure to feed his soil thereby increasing the soil biology. Sean recently featured on the Biofarm conference where he was interviewed by Ella McSweeney and the interview gives a great insight into Sean’s attitude of farming in harmony with nature
Nominator: Joe Kelleher, Organic Specialist, Teagasc