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Teagasc Future Beef Programme - Sustainable Cattle Production

The Teagasc Future Beef Programme - Sustainable Cattle Production, was launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD on the farm of Oliver O’Hara, near Manorhamilton in County Leitrim today, Monday, 6 December.

Liam Herlihy, Chairman of the Teagasc Authority; Oliver O’Hara, Future Beef Programme Participant and host farmer; Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and Professor Frank O'Mara, Teagasc Director pictured at the launch of the Teagasc Future Beef Programme - Sustainable Cattle Production which took place on Monday, 6 December on the farm of Oliver O’Hara, near Manorhamilton in County Leitrim.

The aim of the Future Beef Programme is to demonstrate to beef farmers how they can produce a quality product as efficiently as possible to make beef farming more profitable, while also making it more environmentally and socially sustainable. The Future Beef Programme involves 24 farms and is also part of the Teagasc Signpost Programme, ‘Farmers for Climate Action’. The programme is predominantly based around suckler beef production. The Future Beef Programme is supported through Meat Industry Ireland by ten meat processing companies.

Building more resilient, sustainable suckler beef

Speaking in Leitrim at the Launch, Minister Charlie McConalogue said; “I am delighted to see this new Teagasc Future Beef Programme come to fruition. Such initiatives that put profitability as well as technical efficiencies improvements at its core is crucial to ensure that we continue to have a vibrant beef sector. I commend Oliver and the other farmers in the Future Beef Programme for their initiative and their willingness to embrace change to meet the challenges facing cattle farmers. Adopting new technologies and enhancing existing farming practices will help to build more resilient and sustainable suckler beef production systems for the years ahead.”

Being part of climate change solutions

Commenting at the launch, Joe Ryan of Meat Industry Ireland (MII) said: “MII members are delighted to support this important initiative, both financially and through close collaboration with Teagasc and the Signpost Future Beef farmers. While Ireland is already a world-leader in sustainable grass-fed beef and lamb production, the sector acknowledges that it must continue to improve its sustainability credentials and be part of climate change solutions. The Signpost Farms programme will demonstrate that the widespread adoption of measures such as animal breeding, animal health, grass management, earlier finishing and other technologies can help the sector reduce emissions and further underpin sustainability”.

Acknowledging Farmer and Meat Industry support

Director of Teagasc, Professor Frank O’Mara said; “the key objectives of the exciting new programme is to create more profitable farms, while reducing greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions, improving water quality and improving biodiversity. I would like to thank Oliver and the other participating farmers in Future Beef for being the pioneers in this programme and allowing other cattle producers to learn from what they put into practice on their farms. I also want to acknowledge the support of Meat Industry Ireland and the 10 meat factories who are partners in the programme.”

Future Beef Farmer Oliver O'Hara, Co. Leitrim 

Oliver O'Hara from Co. Leitrim in a farmer participant of the Future Beef Programme. Oliver farms full-time with help from his children Shane and Karen and he also runs a contracting business. Oliver's plan as part of the Future Beef Programme will be to stay at the same cow numbers but to increase the efficiency on farm. Calves per cow per year and performance at grass are the main focus areas. Oliver also wants to look at soil fertility, using more protected urea and low emission slurry spreading while also looking at incorporating clover. Find out more about the Future Beef Programme at www.teagasc.ie/futurebeef

Find out what Oliver has to say in the short video below


Future Beef Programme Advisory Team

The team of Advisors to lead the new Future Beef Programme - Sustainable Cattle Production, are Cattle Specialist Martina Harrington and Future Beef Advisors Gabriel Trayers and Aisling Molloy. See more on Advisors appointed to Teagasc Future Beef Programme

For more details see Future Beef Programme

The Future Beef Programme Supporters

The Future Beef Programme is a Teagasc led Programme supported by MII, ABP Ireland, Ashbourne Meat Processors, Dawn Meats, Euro Farm Foods, Foyle Food Group, Kepak, Kildare Chilling, Liffey Meats, Moyvalley Foods, Slaney Foods.