Na­tional award for Mayo farm

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FARM FINANCE - Stephen Cado­gan

The win­ners of the in­au­gu­ral na­tional Farm­ing for Na­ture award are an Achill Is­land fam­ily that farms 150 Mayo black­head ewes on a 20,000-acre com­mon­age, a fl o c k s a i d i t b e p e r f e c t l y adapted to graz­ing the lo­cal mo­saic of pro­tected habi­tats. They are the Calvey fam­ily from Keel, Co Mayo, led by master butcher Martin Calvey, and they run the only abat­toir on the is­land.

The Calveys sell their trade­marked Achill Moun­tain Lamb from their lo­cal shop, win­ning nu­mer­ous awards, and the choice of many top chefs in the west of Ire­land. Over four weeks, mem­bers of the pub­lic were in­vited to vote for one of six farm­ers short­listed for the Farm­ing for Na­ture award.

O n e o f t h e Aw a r d o r g a nis­ers, Bren­dan Dun­ford, said the fi­nal­ists are hard work­ing farm­ers who love their land and their live­stock and who re­ally care for their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

He said the Calveys have man­aged to bring a taste of Achill to food lovers all across Ire­land, tes­ta­ment to their en­trepreneur­ship and hard work.

Project Co­or­di­na­tor, Brigid B a r r y s a i d : “T h e r e wa s in­cred­i­ble buy-in from the pub­lic to sup­port these short­listed six farm­ers, with nearly 4,000 votes com­ing in. “Each one of the six farm­ers has in­cred­i­ble farms in such dif­fer­ent land­scapes and with di­verse habi­tats, they are all do­ing fan­tas­tic things for na­ture and are keen to share their sto­ries so that other farm­ers are in­spired to im­prove their land as well.

Farm­ing for Na­ture win­ner Martin Calvey with MEP Mairead Mcguin­ness.

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