Greenfield blow as landowners decide to return to 'more traditional' farming
Hopes of a reversal of the decision to call time on the Greenfield dairy farm programme were dealt a shattering blow this week when the owners of the land, the Phelan family, announced that they were taking back control of the property.
In a statement, issued to the Farming Independent, the Phelan family said that after a decade of partial involvement in this high-profile project, they wanted to return to day-to-day farming of the holding in a more traditional family farming structure.
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"We will take on this challenge with gusto and make it succeed," the statement said.
"We now wish to take full ownership of the company operating the farm lease."
The Phelan family said they are grateful to the project's partners and the farm's employees, and thanked the thousands of farmers who visited over the past decade.
"Doubtless, some will be disappointed that this project will not continue in its current format, but we do hope they respect our preference to take back control of day-to-day operations on what is a family farm," the family said.
"While the project has had its ups and downs, and while we have not always been in agreement with some of the operations, we do recognise the enormous contribution the project has made to Irish dairying.
"It has created a substantial bank of knowledge that will remain available to our fellow farmers for the years to come."