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HomeBeefGrass-fed organic beef from Cavan farmer’s ‘very extensive’ system
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Grass-fed organic beef from Cavan farmer’s ‘very extensive’ system

Gerry Fitzsimons is an organic beef farmer from Co. Cavan, who previously farmed conventionally for some years, but decided to embrace a “more holistic manner”.

He previously operated a suckler enterprise, but he now purchases a small number of Angus bullocks every year and fattens them on the farm before selling them, mostly direct to customers via his meat scheme.

Gerry has been running a grass-fed beef system for some 20 years.

Besides, there are about 6ac of birch woodland on the farm, and the land ranges from some good grassland to heavy land to bogland.

Even though a lot of the grassland was reseeded in the 1990s, a lot of plant diversity has returned to the pasture, and the Cavan now has some “good multi” species pasture again.

He explains:

“The farming system is very extensive, and external inputs are minimal. The cattle are in for a very short period over winter where they are bedded on rushes cut from the land.”

“Some haylage is cut every year to supplement winter feeding. There is lots of space for biodiversity and wildlife on the farm, from bog and ponds to thick hedges, pockets of woodland and an orchard.”

“I am delighted to have a pair of nesting buzzards on the land. There are lots of frogs and newts on the farm, as well as badgers, foxes, rabbits and hares.

Gerry and his family take a holistic approach to life and are passionate about protecting nature in any way possible.

“Anything that I can do to encourage better care of our environment, on or off the farm, I am happy to do it,” Gerry added.

Farm walk in Cavan

Gerry Fitzsimons from Kilcogy is the next farmer on the FFN (Farming for Nature) farm walk schedule this year.

He will open the gates of his farm to the public on Saturday, July 1st, 2023, at 2 pm, and the theme of this farm walk is ‘Grass-fed beef farming and building habitats to support biodiversity’.

These walks are an opportunity to meet like-minded farmers and to gain an insight into the creative and inspiring ways that farmers are working to incorporate, protect and enhance nature on their land.

There is a great diversity of ambassadors set to host farm walks this year, covering a range of farming systems from tillage to dairy, forestry to market gardening, mixed stock to high nature value farming and more.

Onsight Insights are a series of farm walks whereby a number of Farming for Nature (FFN) ambassadors will showcase their contribution to nature and good farming practices on their land, as well as highlight their practical on-farm actions to support biodiversity and climate.

The walks cost €10 to attend. This is a not-for-profit initiative, and all monies received will be circulated back into the farming community.

More information

For more information and to book your place on a walk, visit Farming for Nature’s website or contact Lucy by email at the following address – [email protected]

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