A West Sligo family has scooped a major award for keeping a tidy, well-maintained and safe farmyard.
The Feeney Family from Enniscrone, won first place in Connacht for their farmyard in the 2017 FBD National Farmyard Awards run in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Journal.
The Feeney holding was described as a cattle farmer’s dream yard.
The first parcel of land was bought by Mary and the late Joe Feeney over 60 years ago.
Their sons Brendan and Greg have added to this and the farm now exceeds 200 acres.
The Feeney brothers have developed the farm running a pedigree Charolais herd and a commercial cattle herd. They also fatten store lambs.
The Farm Manager, Darragh McManus moved to the farm in 2016 with his wife Ciara and two young boys, Shea(9) and Fionn(2).
Darragh manages the farm with some casual labour. The farmyard is of an exceptionally high standard. It is situated in the middle of the farm and commands views of the river Moy and the Atlantic Ocean.
It is the focal point of the farm and is designed with safety, functionality and practicality in mind.
This farmyard is well off the road and serviced by a long driveway that has been planted with hedging on both sides.
The Bostonia herd of pedigree Charolais animals welcomes visitors on a regular basis for sales.
Signage is clear around the farm to guide and alert visitors. Cows are housed in individual pens and each can be head locked for ease of management.
All sheds have headlocks. Bull housing is sturdy and young bulls are housed in pairs to keep them content. Man escape routes are well planned.
Mobile gates on wheels with steering allow cattle to be moved safely and easily. A new machinery shed has been added this year.
The whole farm is piped for the power washer from a central tank.
All rubbish is baled centrally for ease of disposal. This farmyard is any cattle farmers dream yard, said the judges.
The runner up in Connacht was the 100 acre dairy farm run by Billy and Deirdre Connor in a picturesque area of Co Mayo near Mount Nephin in Crossmolina.
The overall winner was the -Hillcrest Farm in County Down which is a large family run dairy business. Beattie and Margaret Lilburn along with their sons David and Reggie farm 500 acres. The Lilburns own 350 acres.
The Feeney Family, Greg Feeney, Darragh McManus from Scurmore, Enniscrone receiving their Farmyard Award.