Richard Milligan

Robertstown, Co. Kildare
My grandparents built this farm in the 1930s and my family have been here ever since.
My family have farmed our land in Robertstown, Co. Kildare, since the 1930s when my great grandparents bought and built their farm.
I work in partnership with my father Henry managing over sixty hectares of grassland and tillage, and caring for our Irish Hereford beef herd.
I started my farming career studying at Harper Adams Agriculture college and I went on to work as a farm manager, gaining experience on a number of different farms in the UK before returning home.

At present on the farm we run two Hereford stock bulls with their 40 cows, plus replacement heifers in a suckler to beef spring calving herd. In previous years we have also used Hereford AI on maiden heifers and selected cows to increase the ICBF Euro Star Values of our breeding stock. Currently we have ten Hereford cross heifers in calf to a Hereford bull in the hopes of increasing cow numbers from within the herd. On top of our suckler herd, we also operate a cross calf to beef system. We are lucky to be able to source these three-week old calves from local dairy farmers, who we know and trust, so we can keep the risk of disease and stress to a minimum.

Myself and my father both agree that the ease of handling and finishing Hereford cattle, along with the ease of calving and high level of calf vigour at birth are proving to be very positive for our farm.

Animal welfare is at the heart of everything we do on our farm and all of our herd lives out on fresh grass for most of the year. I believe that good grass management is the key to maintaining animal performance. During the winter period our housed animals are fed silage and bedded on fresh straw, while our weanlings are wintered out and fed on our homegrown winter forage crops. This allows them to really push on once the spring grass comes in, and reduces our straw, silage and concentrate requirements.

"The ease of handling and finishing Hereford cattle is a real plus."

I am a keen rugby supporter and played in school, but being a fulltime farmer and Dad to a young family means that I don’t get to as many matches as I used to. I am delighted to be involved with the Hooves4Hospice initiative and I think that it’s not only great for the area, it also helps to showcase beef farmers in a positive light. I was very proud to be awarded Irish Hereford Prime’s farmer of the year award in 2020 and I hope that my passion for my work and my love of our farm will inspire my children to follow in my footsteps in the future.

"I hope that my passion for my work and my love of our farm will inspire my children to follow in my footsteps in the future."