'The fairs were much more civilised than the marts'
My Week: Dave Cahill, Cahill's farm cheese, Newcastle west, Co Limerick
Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30
Dave Cahill minds the home farm in County Limerick and he describes it as an easy enough job taking care of the 62ac Aberdeen Angus organic operation in Newcastle West.
"I count them out and move them every day and there is no great expense with the herd because you don't use the fertiliser. And the son, Liam, takes care of the work when he is back home at the weekends," explains the 80-year-old, who is pictured with his wife Marion, son Dan and daughter Helen.
"A day does not pass without me walking the land," says the 'retired but not retired' Dave. "The son Liam has made many changes - reseeding, draining and fencing and the like. There have been constant changes to the land which we have farmed for 11 decades," says Dave.
Dave took over the family farm, which was bought in 1902 by a successful uncle returning from Massachusetts, from his dad, William, in the early '70s.
William ran a daily 'milk round' in Limerick city with the milk of his Friesian herd and then sold the remainder onto the local creamery.
Armed with the dairy science degree from UCC and work stints as a creamery manager and on a Dairy Programme with the Dept of Agriculture it was obvious that Dave was going to make changes on the farm.
Along and his wife Marion he saw the huge commercial possibilities which the country's accession to the EU in the seventies presented.
"It was an eye opener," he recalls and the couple swiftly began experimenting with using their farm milk to make artisan cheeses.