Video: Ear to the Ground focus on organic beef farming

The final episode in the current series of Ear to the Ground is set to focus on organic beef farming.

Striking a better work-life balance and the story of how a community worked together to prevent a native Irish bird from going extinct will also feature on tonight’s episode.

This week Darragh Mc Cullough visited an organic beef farm near the village of Ashford, Co. Wicklow, which is also home to the hit Vikings TV series.

Darragh spoke with the O’Connell family in Ballyhenry, who owns a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

Even though the family has owned the 500ac farm over 30 years ago, they only began farming it themselves four years ago.

Joe and his daughter Rebecca demonstrate to Darragh how they run a minimal labour and machinery input farm, as they rear their Aberdeen Angus cattle.

This week Helen O’Carroll spoke with New Zealander Andre van Barneveld about how small changes can can have a positive impact on your work-life balance.

Before moving to Ireland, Barneveld was a young man obsessed by farming. By his mid-twenties he was working on two farms and milking over 300 cows a day.

However, after a marriage breakdown, Barnevald re-evaluated his life and chose to take a different direction.

Now working as a Dairy Consultant, the New Zealander is putting his own life lessons to use.

He believes that with a change of mindset you can have both financial and lifestyle gains. Helen travelled with Barnevald to a farm owned by Niall Walsh in Co. Laois.

Walsh has found that making small critical changes on his farm has had a massively positive impact on his work-life balance, as well as on the time he spends with his young family.

Meanwhile, Ella McSweeney travelled to north Co. Leitrim to see how a community worked together to prevent a native Irish bird from going extinct.

In 2007, only three pairs of Red Grouse were left on Boleybrack Mountain in Co. Leitrim, while numbers all over Ireland were declining by 70%.

In response, the locals got together to figure out what could be done to save this native Irish bird.

The result is a huge success story, with the population now close to 100 pairs.

This is also the story of a man who was once an outsider, but who now has become an integral part of the local community in rural Glenfarne.

Ear to the Ground will be aired on RTE 1 at 8.30pm tonight and will also being repeated on Sunday.

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