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A group with a difference: Ólas Hill Farms

On this week’s OviCast podcast, Ciarán Lynch headed to Westport in Co. Mayo where he was joined by Tom Gill and Teagasc Advisor John Noonan to find out more about Ólas Hill Farms. They are a collective of shepherds tending to land and flock in the remote West of Ireland.

Centred around Westport, Ólas Hill Farms was initially set up with a focus on breeding sales which then expanded to encompass a producer group that now has more than 400 members.

Tom is a member and one of the co-ordinators of the group and he explains how it has delivered for his own system and that of the other members.

The group works closely with Kildare Chilling where they send more than 30,000 lambs annually. With stock all produced locally and with transport leaving Westport three times a week, they discuss the type of lamb being sent, with Tom explaining how the group co-ordinates this, acknowledging the efforts of the committee and staff within the group.

The breeding sales are still very much a part of Ólas Hill Farms and John and Tom explain more about this.

John also discusses how the group has worked with the various stakeholders to develop a dedicated website where customers can find out more about their story and how the lamb was produced and the Ólas Hill Farms brand that they hope will be on the shelves in European markets. 

For more information visit the Ólas Hill Farms website.

For more episodes from the OviCast podcast, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/ovicast-sheep-podcast