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Moo-ving on up! Kilkenny mam and daughter team embrace cow fitness tech

Fitness trackers for cows? It’s the latest technology helping out on Irish farms and a mother and daughter team in Kilkenny are putting it to excellent use!

The RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and Granahan McCourt has awarded a €1000 grant to Goresbridge-based farmers Joanne Cushen and her mother, Bridget, in recognition of their entrepreneurial use of technology to embrace new advances in biodiversity and sustainable farming.  

In partnership with  Macra, the RISE Community Fund ran a national competition to find entrepreneurial young farmers with plans to use technology in innovative ways.  

Running the mixed family farm, the mother and daughter team have several enterprises to manage, from dairy, sucklers, calf to beef, a small flock of ewes, tillage, forestry, and a brood mare.

Joanne impressed the judges with her desire to use technology to improve efficiencies and lower the carbon footprint of their various operations.  

“Our aim with the family farm is to produce high quality produce from all of our animals in a sustainable way, utilising all available technologies and new research,” Joanne said.

“We are delighted to receive this grant from the RISE Community Fund as the project we’re working on will provide a health monitoring system for our suckler weanlings. This system will provide us with 24-hour information about the animals, which spend their time grazing on parts of the farm that are about 900 feet above sea level. The remote monitoring technology means we will only have to commute to this part of the farm once a day, which frees up valuable time to expand other areas of the business.”  

David McCourt, technology entrepreneur, founder of RISE and Chairman of NBI, commented: “Joanne is a fantastic example of a young farmer who is incredibly proactive in looking for ways to use technology to improve the operations of their family farm. By combining technology with her entrepreneurial mindset, she’s not only making the farm more efficient, but also driving real environmental benefits which will make the farm more sustainable.

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