The Heffernan family run a very impressive low-cost grass-based dairy system in Caherleske, Dunnamaggin, Co Kilkenny. They currently have 300 British Friesian spring-calving cows and their plan is to be milking over 400 in the next three years.

Billy Heffernan was milking 30 cows combined with beef, sheep and tillage enterprises originally. In 2007, dairy cow numbers increased to 70 and since then numbers have gradually increased to where they are now. The increase in numbers was as a result of Billy’s two sons Liam and Mark coming home to farm full-time and a decision to specialise predominantly in dairying, phasing out the other enterprises on the farm.