Farming & Fisheries

Award-winning Ian says farmers are always ready to embrace new ideas

November 24th, 2022 5:45 PM

By Emma Connolly

Ian Kingston, who was the overall winner of the 2022 Carbery Milk Quality & Sustainability Awards with his wife Marie, son Dylan, parents Dick and Kathleen and sister Shirley Bateman at the awards presentation in Fernhill House Hotel Clonakilty. Also included are Jason Hawkins, ceo Carbery; Cormac O’Keeffe, chairperson; Ciara Sheehan, members of Drinagh Co-op, Darren Lynch, Seamus Daly, David Shiels, Donal McCarthy, Raymond Collins, Brian O’Sullivan and Tim O’Regan. (Photo: Don MacMonagle)

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Ian Kingston is milking a herd of 181 cows on a 200 acre milking platform, and describes himself as being very interested in the facts and figures, which may be the secret to his farming success

FARMERS are out there working with nature every day and I don’t know any who are not trying to do their best. 

That’s the buoyant outlook of this year’s Carbery Milk Quality and Sustainability Awards winner, Ian Kingston. 

The Drinagh supplier, who farms at Sillertane, Dunmanway said: ‘I think most new ideas are embraced and farmers will always try new ideas if they have confidence in them. I think for everyone it’s about being realistic and only farming and taking on what we can manage, and what the environment and your land can manage.’

Ian farms with the help of his parents Dick and Kathleen, his wife Marie, and their children Dylan, (14) and Emma, (13). 

They are milking a herd of 181 cows on a 200 acre milking platform, producing an average of 430kg of milk solids per cow. 

Ian describes himself as being very interested in the facts and figures about his farm, as well as trialling new approaches: ‘I am always tracking and reading up on what’s happening and keeping up with the latest thinking to do the job right. I tend to be early in trialling new approaches because I trust the advice that I get and that we are never asked to try what won’t work. I also know my ground very well and I know what will work for me.’

One of the first Monitor Farmers (a Carbery/Teagasc joint programme supporting farmers) in 1997, Ian is still part of that group and has also participated in fertility and other trials in Moore Park. He is also part of a Green Acres group. Ian has also done a term on the board of Drinagh Co-op. 

He is a member of the Carbery Greener Dairy Farmers group and subsequently went on to complete the Diploma in Environmental Science with UCC. He has a focus on EBI and has been grass measuring for many years. He has trialled protected urea and all slurry is spread using a trailing shoe. He has clover on about 20% of the farm, and also maintains hedgerows, and is planting new ones where needed. 

There were three finalists from each West Cork Co-op at the awards.

Bandon Co-op winner was Mícheál and Martina Dullea, Keelnameela; finalists were: Anthony Dempsey, Ballymountain, Innishannon; Éibhlín and Michael Kiely, Ballyvrin, Kinsale.  

Barryroe Co-op winner was Michael Coleman, Carrigeen, Butlerstown; finalists were: Laurence, Denis and Bridget Keohane, Ballintemple, Clonakilty and Patrick O’Brien, Brownstown, Ballinspittle.

Drinagh Co-op winner was Ian; with finalists: Sam Kingston, Bawnahow, Drimoleague and Timothy and Shane McCarthy, Dromusta West, Drimoleague 

Lisavaird Co-op winner  was Kevin Collins, Caruvouler, Ballineen; with finalists: Stanley Helen, Crohane, Ballinscarthy; Richard and Michael White, Tullineaskey, Clonakilty.

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