independent

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Dingle Dexters feature on BBC's Countryfile

Published 13/11/2013|05:36

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Kilian Kelly, Postgraduate Researcher at IT, Tralee, Peter O’Shea, Farmer, Cloghane, Paddy Fenton, owner of the Dexter cattle & Co-owner of the Dingle Dexter Beef Company, Adam Henson, Countryfile presenter, Mathew Stewart BBC cameraman and ‘Countryfile’ film crew.

THE work of a west Kerry food company that is currently engaged in a major commercial and agricultural research programme in partnership with IT Tralee has been highlighted on BBC.

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THE work of a west Kerry food company that is currently engaged in a major commercial and agricultural research programme in partnership with IT Tralee has been highlighted on BBC.

Sunday night's episode of BBC's leading agriculture show Countryfile featured an extensive look at the business and research being carried out by West Kerry organic beef producers, the Dingle Dexter Beef Company, which is owned and run by Dingle man Paddy Fenton who will be well known to farmers though his day job as the Kerry County Veterinary Officer.

For the past year The Dingle Dexter Beef Company has been involved in a collaborative project with IT Tralee and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the BBC crew were in Kerry to learn about what the business is doing and how it operates. Over the summer BBC presenter Adam Henson and the Countryfile crew visited the Mount Brandon Nature Reserve in West Kerry, where the dexters are farmed, and met with Paddy and IT Tralee postgraduate research student Kilian Kelly who is also working on the project.

The project focuses on biodiversity conservation and examines how the small and hardy Dexter cattle, which are a native breed to the south west of Ireland, affect the flora and fauna of upland areas.

Kilian Kelly has been working closely with Paddy Fenton on the project which, aside from examining environmental impacts, is also aimed at helping organic livestock and meat companies protect their stocks and make their business models more sustainable.

The Dexter cattle are released into the 462-hectare nature reserve each July and are allowed to roam freely until the following November. The IT Tralee research team fitted global positioning systems (GPS) tracking collars to a number of cattle in order to learn about how they behave and survive in such a large free-range setting.

Kerryman

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