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NDC Continues to expand its Farmer Ambassador Programme with two new Ambassadors from Limerick and Kerry

NDC Farmer Ambassadors Paddy O'Kelly and James Flaherty

The National Dairy Council is continuing to expand its Farmer Ambassador programme by recruiting two new young passionate farmers who are based in Limerick and Kerry. Paddy O’Kelly from Co Limerick  and James Flaherty from Castleisland, Co Kerry will join NDC’s troop of exceptional dairy farmers who continue to spread the message of sustainable dairy production across Ireland.


Paddy O’Kelly from Broadford Co Limerick went to agricultural college in Pallaskenry, then spent 3 years with the farm apprenticeship board working in farms in Kerry and Cork before spending  a year traveling and working on farms in New Zealand and Australia before returning home in 1999 and taking over the home farm. Paddy is the 7th generation on this family farm, his dad is 89 and is still very involved.


The current group consists of 15 Farmer Ambassadors who act as advocates and spokespeople for Ireland’s family-farm-based, grass-fed dairy production system. They are champions for the many initiatives being employed to make Irish dairy more sustainable and environmentally-friendly – and they are all keen to speak about what they are doing and what needs to be done.


James Flaherty farms on his family farm in Castleisland, they have farmed here since 1850 and he is the seventh generation. It was always a dairy farm but they moved away to dry cattle and suckler and in 2019 decided to go back into dairy. James and his father made the decision to go down the robotic route and installed a milking robot and haven’t looked back since.


Farm Advocacy Manager at NDC Majella McCafferty says


“For some time now, the industry has lacked a consistent approach to communicating our side of the story, and, as a result, we’ve been reactive rather than proactive and on the back foot. They say that if you’re having to explain, then you’ve lost, and – sadly – that’s where we are. What we need is a clear voice, championing our industry with positive stories about the reality of life on the farm, the effective measures being undertaken to address the environmental challenges, the people that make dairy happen and the future that they want to have. With our Farmer Ambassador programme we now have that voice and our role is to provide the platforms that they need to tell their stories so that the general public can feel better connected to the production system that puts top quality Irish dairy in the chiller cabinet.”


The Farmer Ambassadors are promoted via social media, in NDC media relations activity and directly to digital, print and broadcast media who may require a dairy industry spokesperson to talk about Irish dairy from an informed point of view. They are regionally spread throughout the country and available for interview on a broad level of subjects.


For further information on NDC’s Farmer Advocacy programme, please visit Contact Cathy Curran, Communications Manager | NDC | | M: +353 86 877 7664 | T: +353 1 290 2451.