Teagasc appoints two new cattle specialists

Catherine Egan
Catherine Egan

Teagasc has appointed two new cattle specialists.

Martina Harrington who is based in Teagasc Oak Park will cover the South East and is also the new programme manager of the Teagasc-Irish Farmers Journal BETTER Farm Beef Challenge programme.

Martina Harrington

Martina Harrington

Catherine Egan will be based at the Teagasc Mellows Campus Athenry covering the West and Midlands Region.

Martina Harrington comes from a farming back ground in Birr, Co Offaly. She graduated with a B Agr Sc from UCD in 2000 and later completed a Masters in Rural Environmental Conservation Management.

She began her career with Kirwan Agriconsultants in Offaly before joining Teagasc as a REPS planner in 2002 in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Since 2014 her role in Wexford has been as a business and technology drystock advisor where she worked with beef and sheep clients through discussion groups and one to one consultations.

On being appointed to the role of cattle specialist, Martina Harrington said: “I am really looking forward to the opportunity to work with the farmers, advisors and wider stakeholders.

"The beef sector is in uncertain times. There are pressures coming from price to specification, to carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

"It is our job to look at these pressures and break them down for farmers.

"While we know there are many efficiencies that can be implemented on beef farms to improve profitability and sustainability, we also know that for some, these are unattainable.

"So how do we help these farmers? This is our challenge.”

Catherine Egan comes from a farming background in south Roscommon. She received a B Agr Sc from UCD in 2012 and completed a research Masters of Agricultural Science in 2013, focusing on low cost grass based systems.

She started her career in Teagasc on the Teagasc-Irish Farmers Journal BETTER Farm Beef programme as an advisor to the farmers in phase two of the programme and following this she was appointed as a business and technology drystock advisor in Athenry working with Teagasc farmer clients to improve their technical efficiencies.

Since January 2018 she has worked as an advisor in the Teagasc Grass10 programme.

Following her appointment Catherine Egan said: “There are many challenges facing beef producers in Ireland at the moment.

"Pressure from the market place poses major challenges for beef farmers at present.

"Part of my role will involve improving technical performance at farm level to help farmers to protect their incomes.

"I am delighted to join the Teagasc Cattle Specialist Team and look forward to working with advisors and research colleagues at Teagasc, along with beef farmers and industry partners.”

Pearse Kelly, head of the Teagasc Drystock Knowledge Transfer Department, congratulated both Martina and Catherine on their appointments as Teagasc cattle specialists.

He said: “Martina and Catherine bring a significant amount of experience to these roles through working with a variety of farmers and stakeholders over a long number of years. I wish them every success and look forward to working with them into the future.”

Martina Harrington and Catherine Egan will join with the current Teagasc Cattle Specialist Team which consists of Pearse Kelly, Aidan Murray who covers the North and North West and Alan Dillon who is the programme manager to the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef programme, while also covering the south of the country.