An Spailpín Bó Farms

An Spailpín Bó farmer/owner is a native of Co Donegal, having spent many years in the corporate world where he travelled extensively, Eugene returned to Donegal in 2014 where he took over running the family farm near the historic site of “Tobar an Duin” (Doon well) NW Donegal. 

The family farm operated a very typical livestock system with suckler cattle and sheep, it soon became clear that this system simply wasn’t a viable business and to add insult to injury had the potential to cause serious long term land degradation and environmental damage. A complete rethink was needed.

So after completing a post graduate diploma in Organic Farming through the SRUC agriculture college in Scotland, sponsored by (NOTS) National Organic Training skillnet a new system was introduced.  

Eugene is now a firm believer in the concepts of biological farmer i.e. moving away from the conventional thinking of agriculture as a chemical problem to one that sees the soil as a living organism full of plant and microbial diversity that if managed properly can outperform conventional systems without the environmental impacts.

The farm has now been converted to this method of farming, it is still very much a work in progress, every farm is different and all systems needs to be fine tuned to the specific needs of the farm. Dexter cattle were chosen as the main suckler enterprise, they are a native breed and much more suitability to the land and weather patterns found in Donegal. They are a hardy breed, great mothers and produce healthy, nutritious and great tasting meats.

Eugene in also working on his M.Sc, doing a thesis on the effects of diverse multi species grasslands on marginal soils.