The Centenary-nominated farm is located in the picturesque landscape of Kirbragh, Cashel, Co Tipperary, and is operated by the dynamic duo, Denis and Teresa Bergin, alongside their son, David.

This farm seamlessly blends modern practices with traditional charm and the well-preserved cut stone buildings are a testament to the Bergins’ care and attention in transforming this farm in 2016 from a suckler to a dairy enterprise.

Spread over an idyllic expanse of land, the farm boasts an ideal dairy setup. The strategically placed paddocks convenient to the milking parlour and 120 acres of tillage make it a dream farm.

The Bergins prioritise animal health and comfort, evident in their innovative and animal-centric approach. Cow cubicles with mattresses far outnumber the cows, providing comfortable resting spaces. The spacious and well-ventilated stables, from a former equine enterprise, now house the calves, with equal care given to both male and female calves by Teresa herself.

The Bergins use Allflex health collars for continuous health monitoring to rapidly detect problems. The emphasis is on reducing the use of antibiotics to the bare minimum.

High cell count cows are identified through milk recording and are treated with boluses. Selective dry cow therapy is practised, with an increasing number of cows receiving sealants only.

The breeding focus is on achieving higher milk solids with a low maintenance cow.

Half of the herd is bred using dairy sires and, of that, 30 % receive sexed semen and the calf EBI stands at 237. The Bergins produce excellent quality milk with low TBC and SCC.

To clean milking equipment, an automatic machine wash is used, with hot water at a temperature of 88OC with a target finish temperature of 55oC used after every milking, using DeLaval detergent and descaler for both machine and bulk milk tank.

The descaler is used every third wash.

The entire farm has been reseeded over the past decade with all paddocks having lush white clover. Several fields of multispecies are being trialled.

Soil fertility is meticulously monitored, and grass measurement occurs frequently, grass growth and utilisation are optimised using the PastureBase IT system.

An abundance of hedgerows (100m planted in the last year) and five dedicated wildlife habitats further showcase the Bergins’ commitment to sustainability and biodiversity.

Despite being a key player in the successful dairy enterprise, David manages to operate a horse breeding and training business. Even with a hectic schedule, he still finds time to ride out for a local trainer, drawing on his experience as a former jockey in the UK.

David’s expertise in dairy herd management is unparalleled and his utilisation of computer and phone apps truly sets him apart.

He is a phenomenal ambassador for the sector, making the dairy industry the beneficiary of the racing industry’s loss.

David Bergin putting a heat detection collar on a cow.

The couple’s other children, Keith and Avril, have followed their own career paths away from the farm.

In this serene and stress-free environment, both cows and humans exude a remarkable sense of calmness.

The farm’s excellent milk routine, supported by a well-structured rota and assistance from a relief milker, ensures outstanding work-life balance. Additionally, Teresa’s contribution as an instructor for riding for the disabled showcases the family’s commitment to helping others.

Their dairy farm stands out as an example of excellence, where welfare of the cows and calves is foremost and good sustainable practices are implemented.