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How 400 hill farmers teamed up to sell over 25,000 lambs a year

Members of this west Mayo producer group are reaping better returns for their Mayo Blackface sheep enterprises

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Ólas Hill Farms member Michael Gavin pictured at Barleyhill, Kilmeena, Co Mayo. Photos: Conor McKeown

Ólas Hill Farms member Michael Gavin pictured at Barleyhill, Kilmeena, Co Mayo. Photos: Conor McKeown

Ólas Hill Farms member Pat McGreal pictured with his Mayo Blackface sheep at Murrisk, Westport, Co Mayo

Ólas Hill Farms member Pat McGreal pictured with his Mayo Blackface sheep at Murrisk, Westport, Co Mayo

Michael Gavin (on right) with John Noonan of Teagasc

Michael Gavin (on right) with John Noonan of Teagasc

Pat McGreal (on the right) with John Noonan

Pat McGreal (on the right) with John Noonan

Sheep on Michael Gavin's farm in Barleyhill, Kilmeena

Sheep on Michael Gavin's farm in Barleyhill, Kilmeena

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Ólas Hill Farms member Michael Gavin pictured at Barleyhill, Kilmeena, Co Mayo. Photos: Conor McKeown

In 2004, a group of 45 Mayo sheep farmers organised a breeding sale of Mayo Blackface sheep to promote their stock and offer buyers an outlet to buy quality sheep in substantial numbers.

Today, there are over 400 farmers in the group, it sells over 25,000 lambs every year and has established its own brand, Ólas Hill Farms.


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