William Morris, Ballydehob, is the second of three shortlisted for the Young Farmer of the Year award, sponsored by Drimoleague Concrete in the 2017 West Cork Farming Awards.
WILLIAM Morris is one of four farmers in West Cork – and only around 50 in the entire country – who follows a once-a-day (OAD) milking regime. The 34-year-old from Lisheenacreagh, Ballydehob, comes from strong farming pedigree with his father, Jim, one of the local IFA members who marched from Bantry to the Dáil back in 1966 to campaign for better rights.
He completed the Advanced Cert in Dairy Herd Management with Clonakilty Agricultural College, including a placement in New Zealand. Back home and having finished his studies, William took over the farm in 2003 and has made great strides by reclaiming and draining land to grow cow numbers from 35 to the current herd of 105 on 40 hectares. He supplies milk to Drinagh Co-Op.
He is also taking part in two Teagasc trials – an on-farm monoculture grass variety and an on-farm clover trial.
This is his second year of OAD milking, the main benefits being reduced labour, more time for managing the farm and a more balanced lifestyle. The system delivers 90% of the income of twice-a-day milking with only 60% of the work.
The plan is to deliver similar solids to twice a day production within two years. Hobbies include travelling, hiking, cycling and adventure races.
- The winner of the Young Farmer of the Year award, sponsored by Drimoleague Concrete, will be announced at The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Farming Awards presentation at 12pm on Sunday, September 24th, at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.