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Message from a “happy farmer”

cfs43

Find the original blogpost on the CFS website.

This is a story about a farmer. Not an ordinary one, a “happy” one.

I had a privilege to meet Michael Crowley, a farmer from Ireland, during the side session “Partnership for sustainable livestock development” at this week’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

He was sitting alongside panelists waiting for his turn to present. To me, he looked slightly nervous but excited at the same time. His presentation was in a video form. It was simple and short, but had a touching message: one that probably will make everyone who works in field of sustainable agriculture feel appreciated and happy.

With his wife, Michael Crowley owns a dairy farm of 50 cows. He is a member of the Carbery Green Dairy Farm, a project that promotes efficient management of resources and reducing the environmental impact of dairy farms in Ireland.

The partnership of Carbery group and dairy farmers is an innovative collaboration towards sustainable livestock farming.  According to the project team, they spread science-based techniques to farmers through workshops, walks on the farm, discussion groups and specialist consultations.

During his involvement in the project, Michael changed his way of farming. He began to utilize a grass-based management system, reduced his water and electricity use by milking the cows during night time. As a result of his sustainable approach his farming is now more productive than before.

With the new techniques he got more meat, more milk to sell and earns 200 euro more per cow. “Because of sustainable farming me and my wife can have a proper holiday. Maybe even two times a year,” says Michael. Moreover, he is no longer worried about sending his children to college.

But, all of this is just a small part of what he feels about sustainable agriculture.

Most importantly he said “I don’t feel guilty about polluting the environment anymore, because I am not polluting. This is why I am a HAPPY FARMER”. This was a great message for me to hear as a young future worker in the agriculture sector. At this point, a smile was on everyone’s face in the room.

From farmers to governments, many stakeholders are working very hard towards global sustainable agriculture. Michael is one of 500 million farmers in the world.

His words might have sounded too romantic for some. But to me it was an encouragement and compliment for people who have worked - and are still working - very hard to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Blogpost by Anudari Enkhtur, #CFS43 Social Reporter – e.anudari(at)yahoo.com

This post is part of the live coverage during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a project GFAR is running in collaboration with CFS. Anudari Enkhtur is one of five YPARD members who was fully sponsored by GFAR to participate in the GFAR social media bootcamp and to attend CFS as a social reporter from 17-21 October 2016.

Photo: Michael Crowley and cattle from the Carbery Group. Pictures courtesy Melano Dadalauri and Carbery Group