2 Culcow Arden 7

Camogie players Siomha and Dearbhaile Kirwan pictured beside the green fields of Banagher in Co. Offaly enjoying their Cúlcow ice cream

Cúlcow ice-creams and sorbets are made on the Kirwan family farm, nestled in the magical landscape between the Shannon Callows and the Sliabh Bloom Mountains. The founder Jim Kirwan is an Offaly man, has a B.Agr.Sc from UCD and is a former President of the Agricultural Consultant Association.

His ice-cream is handmade in Ireland using the finest ingredients and milk from happy, healthy Irish Friesian cows grazing the green fields near Banagher in Co. Offaly. Jim uses organic milk from, egg yolk from free-range hens, fresh full cream and sugar, together with natural flavours and additions such as real strawberries, cocoa etc. No artificial flavourings or colours are used.

Most of the Cúlcow flavours are gluten-free. Vanilla is the most popular flavour but honeycomb, caramel and amaretto are also in good demand. They currently have around 50 different ice creams and sorbets in stock. If you have a particular favourite flavour or recipe Jim will be delighted to make a batch for you or your customers.

Current customers include the food service industry and retail outlets. Tub sizes vary from a compact 125ml size (with its own spoon) to the restaurant sized 5 litres. Jim and his two daughters (Siomha and Dearbhaile) will be at the Offaly’s Hidden Gem pavilion, Row 14 Stand 293 at the Ploughing Championship so call in and taste some frosty goodness for yourself. 

What’s the history of Cúlcow?

Jim started production in October 2014. Prior to that, he ran a successful farm consultancy business for many years and also lived in The Bronx for quite a few years. He always had an interest in farm diversification, alternative enterprises and adding value to farm produce at local level.

His ice cream is made in small batches on their family farm and delivered to your door, and if required with your own personalised message on each tub! Jim delivers his ice cream using dry ice, insulated containers and a good courier.

The name comes from a play on the Gaelic word cúl which means a goal or score in camogie or hurling but can also mean the ‘back of the cow’. Some of the crazier flavours include Guinness, mascarpone, green tea ice cream and of course champagne sorbet. Their sorbets, of course, are all suitable for vegans.

The legend of the Cúlcow

The Cúl cow roams between river and mountain, the magical lands between the Shannon Callows and the Sliabh Bloom mountains-the heartlands of Ireland. She is said to possess the gift of expression. Intuitive, she knows the right thing to say and how to say it best. You can share in her gift with Cúlcow ice cream.

 This is a unique way to say something – say something new or say it better. Even if you have nothing to say, you can relish a tub of Cúlcow in silence and ponder her legend.

Recent awards for Cúlcow Ice Cream

 Jim won the Gold Medal for best newcomer in 2016 but also got a Diploma of Merit in the overall competition at the Ice Cream Alliance annual awards. His strawberry sorbet won a Blás na hEireann silver medal in 2017. The ICA is the umbrella organisation for all small- and medium-sized ice cream producers in Ireland and Britain so the family were thrilled that their ice cream is up there with the best of them.

For further info please call to stand no. 239 or contact James Kirwan, C/o  Clongowney Artisan Food Ltd, Banagher, Co. Offaly Tel:  00 353 87 2526543     Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Twitter @culcowicecream     Website: http://www.culcow.com/


Pictured L2R at the launch of the new Farmex show are Norma Rohan, Embrace Farm, a dairy farmer & IHFA member, Michael Moroney, CEO of Farm Contractors Ireland, Minister Michael Creed TD with Galway lady Maura Canning, former Chairperson of IFA Family Farm Committee

FARMEX the business of farming is a new a one day conference & trade exhibition on how to increase profitability, sustainability and add long-term equity value of the family farm business.

It was launched on July 5 at Agriculture House by Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture & Food.

The major sponsor is Eurogene AI services and LIC Ireland. Larry Burke, Territory Manager for Ireland said that they were delighted to support this new Agri event.

This new show has the support of Animal Health Ireland, Embrace Farm, Farm Contractors of Ireland (FCI), FRS Networks, Glanbia Agribusiness, ICMSA, ICSA, IHFA, Teagasc, UCD, Waterford IT

The Farmex conference will include eight one hour seminars on Agritech, Animal Health/Nutrition, Dairying, Farm Business, Livestock & Tillage.

Each seminar will include four top-class speakers (10 minutes each) followed by a Q & A session chaired by a well-known Agri VIP.

These celebrities include Pat McCormack, ICMSA President, Patrick Kent, ICSA President, Maura Canning, former Chairperson of IFA Farm Family Committee,

Darragh McCulloch, Dept., Editor of the Farming Independent, Matt O’Keeffe, Editor, Irish Farmers Monthly, Brian Reidy, a columnist with the Farming Examiner,

Mike Magan, Chairman of Animal Health Ireland and Derry Dillon, ASA President.

This is also a Dept. of Agriculture (DAFM) Knowledge Transfer approved event for livestock & tillage farmers.

It will take place on Friday, October 12th, 2018 at the Hub, Cillin Hill, Kilkenny.

The Hub is the largest arena in the south-east of Ireland and home to many successful Agri events.

3,000 attendees are projected; intensive marketing and social media campaign are underway over the next three months.

The organisers are hoping to attract Agribusiness, advisory and educational personnel, family farmers, Ag students, farm managers, farm contractors and Agri-Food Science students to attend this event.

Tickets are20 for adults, €10 for agri-students with free car parking and a low-cost travel via Bus Eireann at only €15/20 per person return.

Book online at www.farmex.ie  , save €5 on your ticket, fill in a short questionnaire and enter a free draw for €2,500 in Agri input & services prizes.

A number of Farm Safety demos will also be organised on the day with the Garda, HSA & Teagasc.

Within 200km (125 miles) of Kilkenny  (or a comfortable two ½ hour drive) you have almost 94% of the dairy cows in the state 1.342 M out of 1.433

 (CSO Data June 2017) Within 125 km or 80 miles ok Kilkenny you have 70% of the dairy cows (1.005M), cattle, lowland sheep & arable crops.

 So an excellent venue for Agribusiness trade exhibitors to meet livestock & tillage farmers

For further info please contact Liam De Paor B.Agr.Sc MPRII, Co-Founder and Event Organiser

Farmex – Business of farming

T: 01 4137379 | m: 086 255 7643 | www.farmex.ie



Enthusiastic Grazing b


The FreshGraze Story-What Sparked the Innovation

The two Drumm boys (James 18 and Charlie 17) were putting up an electric fence for strip grazing in the rain, coming in wet and late for football training. They both play with the local Downs GAA club (Mullingar, Co. Westmeath) which has progressed to the County final. They asked their parents Thomas and Laura would it be possible to have a moving fence.

Both young lads are very IT literate and knew there could be an internet solution to make the boring but essential chore of moving the fence easier for busy and hard working livestock farmers. Many dairy farmers have expanded milk production post milk quotas so they have bigger herds. However they are seriously short of labour so their time is critical.

Their father Thomas was a dairy farmer of over 30 years and supplied Lakeland Dairies with both winter and spring milk. He won scholarships (Stephen Cullinane and Farmers Journal) so he had the opportunity to study farming in Holland and New Zealand. His wife Laura is a veterinarian (equine and livestock) so she has a keen interest in animal welfare.

Laura and Thomas encouraged both lads to check out the IT possibilities and the result is that the family now has patented Freshgrazing a  cyber-physical device which will revolutionize grassland  production, milk yields and liveweight gain.

Their concept is Fresh Grazing- their prototype introduces Fresh Graze, an automated moving fence system using two robots to allocate fresh grass to livestock on a continual basis at a rate that ensures the entire sward is consumed before the fence moves again.

Their invention has been entered for an award and will be shown on their stand in the Innovation Arena* at the National Ploughing Championship. They have created a simple, reliable and robust system and a powerful tool for managing grassland. Thomas believes that the payback for a dairy farmer could be within 18 months or two years of purchase.

After a suitable trial period and feedback from early customers their prototype should be ready for a market launch within two years to customers in Ireland, EU and worldwide. The family have been working on this project for over three years.

They are happy to acknowledge the great assistance and encouragement they have received from Enterprise Ireland, Athlone and Tralee Institutions of Technology, Teagasc etc. The TEG group in Mullingar were a very big help. The family also worked with various talented individuals from all over the world and outsourced work to people around the world. I.e. They put project problems on the internet and got people to solve them.

Thomas retired from dairy farming in 2014 when he was milking 80 cows and has been a part-time suckler farmer and working full time on the FreshGraze project since then. He says “we are part of the 4th industrial revolution that can use digital, Internet of Things (IOT) and mechatronics to have an impact on soil, plant, animal, farmer, processor and consumer for the good of society”.

Benefits of the Fresh Graze System

  • It saves a busy dairy farmer** a lot of time moving fences and ensures that it is done at the right time as the software knows the stocking rate and grass availability.
  • It prevents selective grazing and allows for more research into mixed species swards.
  • These swards improve biodiversity, soil fertility, animal and plant health and deliver a more wholesome product for the consumer
  • The cows don’t walk or contaminate the grass they are about pasture utilisation is much better.
  • Freshgrazing provides flexibility and eases grassland management leaving decisions easy to implement, improving grass production and utilisation
  • It leaves a digital footprint for farm to fork traceability while effective utilisation of mixed species and clover swards promote sustainable agriculture production.
  • Data from the milking parlour and grass measuring devices can be integrated with the Fresh Graze software to optimise milk production and liveweight gain.

Editor’s Note

*The National Ploughing Association (NPA), organisers of the annual National Ploughing Championships, have teamed up with the Irish Farmers Journal and Enterprise Ireland to recognise and reward outstanding innovation in the agricultural sector in the NPA Innovation Arena.

According to a Teagasc report some 6,000 new entrants will be required by the dairy industry in the next 10 years. As dairy farmers prepared for milk production post-quota, cow numbers have increased by 327,000 since 2010 to over 1.35million.

James Drum has a keen interest in agriculture having studied it at Leaving Cert level. He is now a first year Engineering student at UCD. He is an Astra scholar and has also been awarded a Naughton scholarship. James is the 2017 Irish national tetrathlon under 21 champion. (Running, swimming, riding and target shooting). He represented Ireland at the International Championships in America this summer and they won the team competition

Charlie Drumm is a 5th year student in Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar. He took the opportunity during transition year to do work experience with the Technical Engineering Group (TEG),  Robotics and Drive, Athlone IT (COMAND) and Tralee IT (IMaR) where he gained valuable hands on engineering and software experience. He is studying Computer Science for the Leaving Cert and did Technology and Tech Graphics for his Junior Cert.

More Family Background

Charlie also was on the school running team but his main interest is in Gaelic football. He was named by the Westmeath examiner as Man of the Match when on the Colaiste Mhuire all Ireland under 16 winning team in 2018. This was the first time the school had ever won this title. He also plays for the Westmeath minor football team.

Charlie is also a keen horseman and represented Ireland on teams at the tetrathlon in Britain. He also enjoys going to concerts and hanging around with his friends.

James says that his involvement in activities helps him to develop skills that he would not have learned in the classroom such as leadership, communication and teamwork.

Through determination and hard work, he has won three All-Ireland Schools cross country running team titles and three silver medals. He has also represented the school’s senior football team. James won Drama Student of the Year in 2016.

James has  completed a GAA coaching courses and gives  horse-riding lessons to special needs children and works  with his little  sister Anna age 12 at home who has Down-Syndrome. 

He received a Gaisce bronze medal for his work in the community and school. Both lads have also been IREUSO Olympiad contestants, and have All-Ireland medals for draughts.