The McCarthy farm sits 400 feet from the Atlantic ocean, on a breathtaking cliff overlooking the sea. John Joe McCarthy is a fourth-generation farmer from a historic West Cork family that dates back to well before the middle ages. His first job as a young man on the family farm was to take the milk churns to the Co-op.
In his father’s era, the farm was more diverse and included pigs and tillage for crops. Upon taking over the farm in 1986, John Joe realized that farms were moving toward specialization and taught himself to specialize in dairy. He has a herd of 80 cows on a pasture of 80 acres, on land that is ideal for dairy cattle.
John Joe was a member of the first class in Ireland to complete a green farming certification in 1984 and is committed to environmentally friendly farming techniques. He is very involved in the Co-op discussion groups, which focus on progress and bring people together to share resources and offer support.
John Joe and his wife Deirdre are the parents of four children: Clodagh, Aibhlin, Roisin, and Diarmuid. Deirdre grew up in a farming family herself, and she and John Joe are particularly passionate about passing down their love of farming to their children. They work together to involve them in daily farm tasks, especially on school holidays. John Joe is also a proud member of the Irish Coast Guard Rescue Service, a voluntary organization that aids recreational and commercial seafarers who are in difficulty at sea.