Teagasc appoints 2 new cattle specialists

Teagasc has announced the appointment of two new cattle specialists to cover the south east, west and midlands regions.

Martina Harrington, who is based in Teagasc Oak Park, Co. Carlow, will cover the south east of the country.

Meanwhile, Catherine Egan will be based at the Teagasc Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway, covering the west and midlands region.

Martina Harrington

Martina Harrington comes from a farming background in Birr, Co. Offaly.

Image source: O’Gorman Photography

She graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from University College Dublin (UCD) in 2000 and later completed a Masters in Rural Environmental Conservation Management.

She began her career with Kirwan Agri consultants in Offaly before joining Teagasc as a Rural Environment Protection Scheme (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 her appointment to the role of cattle specialist, 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. We know there are many efficiencies that can be implemented on beef farms to improve profitability and sustainability.”

Catherine Egan

Catherine Egan comes from a farming background in south Roscommon.

She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from UCD in 2012 and completed a research masters of agricultural science in 2013, focusing on low-cost grass-based systems.

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 marketplace 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.”

Commenting on their appointments, 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.”

Harrington and Egan will join the current Teagasc cattle specialist team which consists of: Pearse Kelly; Aidan Murray; and Alan Dillon, who is the programme manager to the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef programme.