The tragic death of Philip Reck on 15 March last was felt throughout the tillage sector and further afield.

Philip was very well-known through his work with Cooney Furlong and Target Fertilisers and also through his great work with soil health, catch crops and BASE Ireland.

Born on 1 April 1979 in Courtnacuddy, Enniscorthy, he attended the local national school, Enniscorthy CBS and then Waterford Institute of Technology.

After that he attended the University of Wales, Aberystwyth where he received a BSc Hons degree in agriculture and business studies.

Armed with farming experience from the UK, Philip then headed to Australia and drove a combine in Queensland and New South Wales for the harvest. He stayed on to do the following spraying season in New South Wales and then returned home.

He began to work for Walter Furlong Grain Ltd in the harvest of 2002. Since then, Philip held several roles within the group, including farm manager at Walter Furlong Grain Ltd and production manager at the Cooney Furlong Grain Co, with responsibility for the formulation and production of fertiliser products.

Philip was a true professional in all that he did, helped by his interpersonal and organisational skills.

High standards

He was a creative thinker and a problem-solver who insisted that every job on the farm should be carried out to the highest possible standard.

He was a great man to share knowledge while continuing to learn. He lived by the motto “every day is a school day”.

He was a great advocate of the proper use of lime, an innovator in the world of catch crops, a biodiversity and soil health enthusiast and a promoter of “bee-friendly” native wildflower mixtures.

He was deeply involved with BASE Ireland and served as its chair for two years. He was a strong advocate of the principle of farmers educating farmers.

At home, Philip was a devoted father, an active member of the local community and an avid pumpkin grower. Philip and his partner, Martina, and their two girls were truly “muintir na tuaithe”. He is sadly missed by them, his wider family and the country a as whole.

In memory of his all-too-short life, Cooney Furlong is currently setting up a bursary in Philip’s name with a local secondary school.

The objective is to financially assist a student entering third-level agricultural education.

Guímid rath Dé ar d’anam dhílis.