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How to ‘breathe new life’ into a dairy operation with cheese-making, a farm shop and agri-tourism

In six years since quitting nursing and returning home, Teresa Roche has
transformed her family farm in east Galway alongside her father Bertie, branching out in various directions and doubling the size of the pedigree herd

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Path to success: Teresa Roche and her father Bertie of Kylemore Cheese with some of their pedigree Holstein Friesian herd on their farm at Abbey, Portumna, Co Galway. Photos: Eamon Ward

Path to success: Teresa Roche and her father Bertie of Kylemore Cheese with some of their pedigree Holstein Friesian herd on their farm at Abbey, Portumna, Co Galway. Photos: Eamon Ward

Calves on the farm

Calves on the farm

The Roches now have 105 high-yielding cows, with more than a quarter of them classified as VG and EX

The Roches now have 105 high-yielding cows, with more than a quarter of them classified as VG and EX

Teresa in her farm shop with one of her cheeses

Teresa in her farm shop with one of her cheeses

The Roches' herd

The Roches' herd

Teresa in the cheese store-room

Teresa in the cheese store-room

Bertie and Teresa on the farm

Bertie and Teresa on the farm

Teresa with staff member Therese Murphy

Teresa with staff member Therese Murphy

Teresa in the sheds

Teresa in the sheds

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Path to success: Teresa Roche and her father Bertie of Kylemore Cheese with some of their pedigree Holstein Friesian herd on their farm at Abbey, Portumna, Co Galway. Photos: Eamon Ward

Diversification has breathed “a new lease of life” into Bertie Roche and his daughter Teresa’s pedigree dairy farm in easy Galway after 50 years of milking.

Over the last six years, they have added award-winning cheese production — whose clients include Ashford House and Neven Maguire — a farm shop and a farm tourism enterprise, as well as doubling their dairy herd to over 100 cows.


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