Irish beef farming: What does the future look like?

Panel chair: Justin McCarthy

  • 2.30pm: Forum opens.
  • 2.40pm: What does CAP Reform in 2023 look like for your farm - Darren Carty.
  • 2.50pm: Options for the future on beef farms, Adam Woods.
  • 3.00pm: Panel discussion chaired by Justin McCarthy.
  • 3.40pm: Questions.
  • 3.55pm: Closing comments.
  • Panel participants

    Trevor Boland part-time suckler farmer

    Trevor Boland farms just outside Dromard in Co Sligo. He is married to Tara and is farming in partnership with his father Joseph. He works off-farm as an accountant with ifac. He farms 48ha; 23 is owned and 25 is leased. He has a 45-cow autumn-calving suckler herd. The bull calves are sold at 10-12 months and the heifers are retained to finish under 24 months. He also buys in 40 mainly Aberdeen Angus heifers in February/March for finishing in November/December.

    Mark Duffy, part-time organic beef farmer, Co Monaghan

    Mark Duffy is a part-time beef, poultry and tillage farmer farming just outside Ballybay in Co Monaghan. He is married to Grainne and they both work on the farm while Mark works off-farm as an electrician. They converted their farm to organic production in 2008. They finish 20-30 cattle annually alongside a 9,000-hen free-range organic egg-laying enterprise.

    In 2018, Mark also embarked on a small tillage enterprise growing organic oats for Flahavan’s porridge.

    Thomas O’Connor, full-time beef and sheep farmer, Co Kildare

    Thomas O’Connor is a full-time beef and sheep farmer farming alongside his parents just outside Moone in Co Kildare. In 2022 he calved 80 suckler cows and lambed 300 ewes, with 200 of these in early lambing enterprises. He also runs a finishing enterprise purchasing weanlings in the west and finishing bulls at 16 months, bullocks at 24 months and heifers at 22-24 months.

    Phelim O Neill, Irish Farmers Journal, Co Tyrone

    Phelim O’Neill joined the Irish Farmers Journal in 2015 and covers international markets and EU affairs; the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); and trade negotiations that impact on farming and the food industry.

    Phelim worked in Omagh Meats in a variety of roles for 11 years, then moving to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

    He also held the role of chief executive of the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association (NIMEA) - the Trade Association for meat factories in NI.