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FAO 2014 International Year of Family Farming

Teagasc, Proud to support the Irish Family Farm

Teagasc, as part of its celebration of the FAO International Year of Family Farming, have created a series of videos on individual family farms.

The O'Loughlin family are the fourth farming family featured.

Further videos, featuring farm families from around the country highlighting the importance of the family farm in Ireland and demonstrating the contribution of family members to farming tasks over the course of the year, will be launched over the coming weeks and months.

The O'Loughlin Family, Aughill, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare

The O'Loughlin Family

Shane and Judith O'Loughlin from Oghill near
Monasterevin, Co. Kildare with their two sons,
Hugh aged 2, and Tom who was born this summer.

The O’Loughlin family are the fourth Irish farming family featured by Teagasc as part of the FAO International Year of Family Farming

Dermot O’Loughlin has been involved in dairy farming in Oghill near Monasterevin, Co. Kildare since 1953. The farm has been involved in liquid milk production since that time. Dermot and his wife Angela had six children, one of which Shane took over the family farm in 2011 having come back to farming in 2005.

Shane has a first class honours degree in Animal and Crop Production from University College Dublin (UCD). He spent a year travelling in 2004 after getting a Stephen Cullinane Scholarship and spent time looking at farms in Canada, America and New Zealand. Shane married Judith in 2011 and they have two sons, Hugh aged 2, and Tom who was born this summer.

Since coming home to the family farm, Shane joined the very forward thinking mid Kildare discussion group which has helped him progress the farm. Since coming back to farming, Shane immediately became very focussed on EBI and grass measuring and would depend on grass measurement figures to make decisions throughout the grazing season.

The O'Loughlin Family

Shane O'Loughlin with his two sons, Hugh and Tom
and his father Dermot O’Loughlin

A major change on the family farm is that the calving pattern has changed from 50% Autumn calving to 20%. The cows are calving later in October and November, instead of August and September, to reduce the number of high cost winter feeding days and to maximize spring grass in the diet of the autumn calving cows. Shane has also started to focus totally on EBI when breeding replacement dairy cows, while trying to keep an eye on type at the same time. The herd EBI is €138 with €75 from fertility and €37 from solids. It is hoped to increase the EBI as much as possible over the coming years because the scanning results are showing the higher EBI cows are going in calf easier. The herd has been upgraded to pedigree status.

Shane feels that he is very lucky to be farming with his father as he’s allowed him to try new technologies while also being able to give good advice where necessary.

Teagasc is proud to support the Irish Family Farm.