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On farm with Danny Doyle, Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year

On farm with Danny Doyle, Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year

Hailing from a large scale tillage operation in Rathangan, Co. Kildare, Danny Doyle was crowned the overall winner of the Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year 2023 award last evening, May 21.

Farming full time with his father and uncle, Lullymore Farm specialises in winter crop production – particularly winter barley and winter wheat. Oilseed rape has also been added to the mix since Danny completed his studies in Kildaton College, and the farm is also home to a cattle enterprise.

During his time in Kildaton College, where the Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture and Level 6 Advanced Crops and Machinery courses were completed, Danny excelled in both the theory and practical elements of his studies. For both courses, Danny was selected as Student of the Year, a reflection of the high standards he sets. Danny also won the John FitzGerald Bursary to travel to the USA for his second year placement, and the Cian Mooney Bursary to travel to the EU Commission in Brussels.

Commenting on the highlights of his time in Kildalton, Danny said: “It’s hard to even know where to start about what I enjoyed the most from my two years in Kildalton. Stand out things have got to be placement. I was extremely lucky to spend five months around Kentucky and Tennessee on a farm in America for my placement.”

One of Danny’s key learnings from this experience abroad was the use of technology and how every single acre is yield mapped.

In the below video, Danny tells us more about his studies and how it has benefitted his farming endeavours in Co. Kildare:

‘Without our soil, we have nothing’

Back in Rathangan, the Doyles place a major emphasis on soil and soil quality. On this, he said: “We have always been very conscious of our soil.

“Growing up I would always follow my dad out, whether it would be doing soil tests or bringing the spade out to check the soil health. But to actually understand what’s going on under our feet right now, it has really thought me that we have to protect the soil - whether it be with our fertiliser use or chemical use or the actual ploughing of the field. Without the soil, we have nothing.”

Future plans

Commenting on how the experience and knowledge gained from his studies has benefited, Danny explained: “I think after getting to spend two years down in college and getting to travel the world to see how farming is done elsewhere, I think my opinion is definitely more valued at home. It does carry a bit more weight.

“As I take on more of a workload and more responsibility on the farm, I’m definitely around the table with my father and my uncle to make more important decisions on a day-to-day basis or on a long-term basis on the farm.”

Danny Doyle (centre), pictured with Anne-Marie Butler and Charlie McConalogue

Pictured from left to right are: Anne-Marie Butler, Head of Education at Teagasc; Danny Doyle, Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year; and Monster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.

On his future plans, Danny added: “If you fast forward five years, 10 years, 15 years, the plan is always to be in Lullymore. The plan would be to be as efficient and sustainable as possible with the land that we do have.”

The Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year Awards ceremony took place on May 21. Sponsored by FBD, the awards were presented by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.

More information on the Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year, other award winners and finalists is available here.