Farming

James keeps his cows to a good routine

January 19th, 2021 10:10 PM

By Emma Connolly

Right: Lisavaird Quality Milk Award winner for 2020 James McCarthy with his wife Mary and children Shane and Aoife.

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GOOD, old fashioned farming done well is what James McCarthy believes in, and it’s clearly serving him well.

James won the prestigious title of 2020 Lisavaird Quality Milk Award winner, after being a finalist around 10 years ago.

A third generation farmer at Carrigfadda, Reenascreena, he set-up comprises 103 acres (64 acres at home and a rented block for silage); 84 cows (mix of Friesian and Jersey).

He places a strong emphasis on both grass quality and breeding in helping achieve his award winning results.

‘I also think keeping cows to a good routine, milking at the same time every day, and making sure of good hygiene standards, are important to get results,’ he said.

His statistics for 2020 were: butterfat, 4.41; protein, 3.89; TBC,7; SCC, 75; Herd EBI, 129.

Milk solids per cow is 410kg and last year he produced 435,000 litres of milk.

Married to Mary, they are parents to Shane (22) who is in his final year of Ag Science in CIT,  and Aoife (19) who is studying Arts International in UCC.

Shane is already very involved in various aspects of the farm and the plan, James says, is to go into partnership continuing the tradition of farming like his father John and grandfather Andrew before him.

Farming for nearly 40 years, James is optimistic for the future: ‘It is very hard work, but I do think it’s a viable career for a young person. And it’s certainly nice to get some recognition with an award like this,’ he said.

At the recent milk awards ceremony Jason Hawkins, Carbery CEO, said of the event: ‘Every year I am impressed by the standard of the finalists in the Milk Quality Awards, and this year is no exception. I think we have to acknowledge that this has been a particularly challenging year for everyone, including famers.

‘For our nominees to have achieved excellence in these circumstances is something to be very proud of. Carbery are leaders in quality and sustainability and it is critical that we selfishly protect this reputation. Our farmers, and the standard of milk they produce, are central to that success, and celebrating the farmers who achieve these standards are what the awards are all about.’

The judges for this year’s competition commended every entrant for their commitment to quality, hygiene and good practices, noting the particularly high standard this year.

Milk quality, sustainability, healthy cows, hygienic facilities and excellent farming practices are essential to Carbery’s quality of raw material supply which leads to a superior end product.

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