Nigel Donaldson

Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan
My name is Nigel Donaldson and I run my farm in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan with my three sons and my wife. We have milk and dairy cows, alongside sucklers. Our sucklers are all the Hereford breed.
The land on the farm is very fragmented, we have six different parcels of land in a four-to-five-mile radius, which means a lot of travelling every day between the main farmyard and the different fields. I have developed a reseeding plan which sees me reseeding around ten to fifteen percent of the farm every year. I use a mix of grass and clover to keep the grazing at top quality. We grass measure and we do a lot of soil sampling to ensure that the grass is as good as it can be for our Hereford cattle.
I chose Herefords because I run them on an out farm and they are a docile, quiet animal that are easy to manage and they are also easy calving, so I don’t have to worry about them too much.
The plan for the future is to hopefully leave the farm to my sons, if they are interested in taking it on whenever I decide to retire.

I have been using a Hereford bull with the sucklers since 2010. He’s a good bull, I did the research on him and checked the figures and they just made sense, so I bought him at auction, and he has been part of the farm since then.

When you see Hereford Prime mentioned on a menu in a restaurant and you know that you’ve produced this premium product, you feel a real sense of pride, it makes me happy to be an Irish Hereford Prime farmer.

We work with nature on this farm, and we have birdboxes up all around the different areas to help the wildlife. We also fence the rivers to keep the cattle away from them, which ensures that they are protected as a habitat.