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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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KNF farmer milking 60 cows on virtually no inputs

Limerick native, Thomas Stack, has adopted the Korean Natural Farming method and embraced organics to make his system resilient to environmental and financial shocks.

The dairy farmer took the reins of his family enterprise in 2012 and farmed conventionally for a few years before transitioning to organics in 2018.

But he decided something had to change and embarked on an ambitious journey to transform his farm.

The Korean Natural Farming method is a regenerative approach that uses indigenous microorganisms (IMO) to create fertile soils that produce a high output without synthetic fertiliser, herbicides or pesticides.

“You can’t see these microbes. The only way you can see them is under the microscope, and they’re the most powerful thing in the world.”

“How they have transformed my farm in a year-and-a-half is mind-blowing.”

Thomas creates IMO solutions that are highly rich in nutrients and enzymes. He sprays these solutions on the land, working in tune with the nutrient cycle of the plants.

He milks 60 dairy cows on virtually no external inputs. His cows are entirely grass-fed, and he produces high-quality organic milk. He creates his own nutritional supplements for his animals using only natural inputs and processes.

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“I use the land and nature to produce all my inputs on the farm and to enhance the soil biology.”

Furthermore, he has planted over 1,000 native trees to support biodiversity and encourage more wildlife back to the farm.

He regularly hosts farm visits for those interested in learning more about this dynamic farming system.

Farming for Nature

Thomas is part of this year’s 23 Farming for Nature ambassadors that come from
across Ireland.

Now in its fourth year, FFN aims to “source, share and celebrate” the stories of farmers across Ireland who manage their land in a way that sustains nature while providing a livelihood for their families.

This year’s FFN ambassadors include beef, sheep, forestry, dairy, horticulture, and tillage farmers.

These manage a wide range of “very valuable” habitats, including species-rich grasslands and heaths, wetlands, woodlands, and hedgerows.

The FFN ambassador network consists of family farms, couples, and both male and female farmers.

FFN is featuring their ambassadors on a bi-monthly basis until August 2022. See their social media platforms to learn more about these farmers and the work they undertake for nature on their land.

Thomas said: It is very gratifying to be recognised for the hard work and associated anxiety (questioning my decision) for the past two years but the joy and results make it all worthwhile.

“I am delighted to be able to let people know the world of Korean Natural Farming….long live the natural farmer,” Thomas Stack concluded.

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