Reducing antibiotic usage on farm by over €2,000 features on Ear to the Ground

This evening’s episode of Ear to the Ground visits a farmer who has saved over £2,000 (€2,285) by reducing the amount of antibiotics used on his farm.

The episode will also focus on paramedics training for farm accidents and an artisan food company.

Ella McSweeney travelled north to visit David Laughlin, a farmer in Coleraine, Co. Derry, who has made significant savings thanks to reducing antibiotic use on his farm.

“It could have been £2,000-3,000 (€2,285-3,425) per year, and now if we spend £100 (€114) a year that’s a big year,” Laughlin said.

The organic farmer, who has never taken an antibiotic or a painkiller himself, has a mixture of dairy and beef cattle herds on his 250ac farm.

The Coleraine farmer’s philosophy on farming is to be sustainable but profitable, while he aims to control what his animals produce and how he sells it.

In order to help his animals maintain a healthy gut and stay naturally disease free, Laughlin makes his own fermented food such as Kombucha tea and Milk Kefir.

Meanwhile, Darragh McCullough travels southwest to Co. Kerry where paramedics are trained for farm accident rescues.

Flying accident victims from farms to hospitals is just one task of Ireland’s air ambulance service. But dealing with causality on a farm can be fraught with danger.

Heavy machinery, large animals, noxious gases are just some of the obstacles paramedics are forced to deal with when trying to stop bleeding or resuscitate an injured victim.

Finally, Helen Carroll will visit Ireland’s only nettle farm in Monamolin, Co. Wexford, while she also speaks to a couple who have set up their own artisan food company.

Having moved to Ireland from London, Malcom and Fiona Falconer came up with the idea for their company ‘Wild About’, making products based on nettles grown in their own back garden.

Helen spent the day foraging, chopping, packing, labelling and flogging the product to find out the secret of their success.

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