Carbery and Teagasc launch their joint programme 2021 – 2025 for West Cork farmers

West Cork based dairy processor Carbery Group and Teagasc Cork West have renewed their ongoing long-term joint programme for dairy farmers for the next five years. The objective of the Monitor Farm programme, running since 1998, is to lead and demonstrate the development of carbon efficient and sustainable dairy farming in West Cork.

Thomas Curran, regional manager of Teagasc in Cork West expressed his thanks to Carbery and the four West Cork co-ops (Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird) for the renewal of the programme, commenting “The joint programme is a critical part of our advisory programme in leading the development of dairy farming in the region.  We as an advisory team are looking forward to working with all farmers and people in the wider agricultural industry in West Cork over the next five years.”

Carbery Chairman TJ Sullivan also welcomed the renewal of the programme, stating

“ Farmers are always keen to see best practice farming in action, and they learn best from what other farmers are implementing. This has been the secret of the success of the Monitor Farm programme to date. With a big focus on farmers to operate more sustainably, it is great to see supports like this in place from Teagasc, Carbery and the four co-ops.”


From left: Aoife Feeney, Dairy Sustainability Advisor, Carbery
Jason Hawkins, CEO, Carbery
Stan Lalor, Director of Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc
Enda Buckley, Director of Sustainability, Carbery
John Cullinane, dairy farmer and Monitor Farm programme participant, 2021-2025
Tom Curran, Regional Manager, Cork West, Teagasc
TJ Sullivan, Carbery Chairman
John McNamara, Dairy Advisor, Teagasc.

The new joint programme will focus strongly on promoting and demonstrating the practical farming practices that improve sustainability and reduce carbon footprint.  The Teagasc MACC curve and the Leaf diagram as well as learnings from the Carbery Greener Dairy programme will be central in the new programme.

The programme will also engage and support the new Teagasc Signpost Programme throughout the region while also engaging with the Farm Zero C project in Shinagh Farm, Bandon.


The objective of the new programme is to connect with all dairy farmers in the West Cork region and demonstrate high standards of the following:

·       Carbon Efficiency ·       Herd Breeding
·       Water Quality ·       Milk Quality
·       Biodiversity ·       Nutrient Use and Soil Fertility
·       Financial Performance ·       Farm Safety
·       Grassland Management ·       Lifestyle/Health
·       Animal Welfare


The programme will be co-ordinated by John McNamara of Teagasc supported by the Teagasc dairy and dry stock advisory teams in West Cork.  The team will collaborate and work closely with Carbery and the advisors and staff in each of the four West Cork co-operatives, Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird.

Milk Quality

A new addition to the joint programme is the availability of Don Crowley (Teagasc Milk Quality Advisor) to all Carbery suppliers through their co-op milk quality advisor.  Don is one of Ireland’s leading experts in producing quality milk and is renowned for his broad knowledge and practical farming advice on achieving high standards of milk quality.

Monitor Farmers

Table 1 gives the list of monitor farmers in each co-operative and their herd size. John McNamara, Teagasc Cork West says

“The programme only works with the co-operation of our monitor farmers. We have a great team in place for this latest Joint Programme. Every one of these family farms the farmer is also supported by a family team, which will feature over the course of the programme.”

Co-operative Family Location Herd Size
Bandon O’Donoghue Ballinadee 135
Bandon Cullinane Ballineen 129
Barryroe Moloney Kilbrittain 170
Barryroe Walsh Lislevane 84
Drinagh Kingston Drimoleague 58
Drinagh O’Driscoll Churchcross 63
Drinagh O’Sullivan Dunmanus 154
Lisavaird Buttimer Ballineen 116
Lisavaird Shorten Woodfield 114
Shinagh Dairy Farm Ahern Bandon 94
Gurteen Share Farm Cunnane Bandon 239



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