2021 Scholar Presentations & Panel Discussion
Speaker Biographies 2022
Kevin Burkum is Chief Communications Officer for Global Dairy Platform, an international organization comprised of dairy companies, associations, scientific bodies and other partners that operate in 150 countries and produce nearly 33% of the world’s milk. GDP builds evidence on dairy’s role in sustainable and responsible food systems and is dairy’s global voice related to climate change, economic development, food security, nutrition and agriculture with key stakeholders, including the United Nations. Kevin is a member of the leadership team that developed Pathways to Dairy Net Zero, the dairy sector’s global climate initiative that aims to reduce the industry’s GHG emissions.
Having grown up on a dairy farm, he has worked in food and agriculture for most of his career, including at industry associations, consumer packaged goods companies and with an international grocery retailer.
After graduating as a veterinary surgeon from UCD in 2007, Gillian worked in practice for a number of years before changing to dairy farming with her husband Neil. Sustainable, high welfare dairying has always been the focus and they have been milking once a day for the past 14 years. Education is an ongoing pursuit and after completing the Graduate Certificate Programme in Dairy Herd Health through UCD School of Veterinary Medicine she is currently studying with SETU/WIT completing a certificate in soil health and water management. As well as working with various stakeholder groups Gillian has chaired the Vistamilk, Industry Advisory Committee since 2018. Since receiving the Irish Independent Farmer of the Year Award she is a regular contributor to both the Farming Independent and Farmers Weekly publications. She is also a proud mum of four.
Thomas manages together with his parents and sister their 60-hectare farm in North-East Ireland milking 100 dairy cows in a grass based system. He returned to farming after studying agriculture for 4 years in ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ degree programme before returning to education to complete an MA in environmental management with a focus on climate change and the livestock sector. Thomas served on the Board of Macra na Feirme for 3 years prior to running for election as President, and 2 years as Agriculture Policy Vice-Chair. He served a term from 2019 to 2021 as President of Macra na Feirme.
Oisín has been CEO of Friends of the Earth since 2005. He co-founded the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition in 2007 and the Environmental Pillar of social partnership in 2009, and led the 14-year campaign for a climate law which culminated in the passing of the Climate Action Act 2021. He currently sits on the Steering Committee of Coalition 2030, the Irish civil society coalition for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Helen is Director of the Agri-Environmental Sciences Degree Programme, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Ireland. She holds a B.Ag.Sc. (Agri-Environmental Sciences) and a PhD (Agricultural Ecology) from University College Dublin. Her teaching at under and post graduate level is in agricultural ecology and agri-environmental policy. Her research primarily focuses on enhancing the sustainability of ruminant production systems, with particular interest in the use of multispecies swards; the classification and management of farmland habitats and their associated biodiversity; and the design, implementation and monitoring of agri-environment schemes.
Brendan is a 2021 Nuffield Scholar and will present his report ‘Creating alternative primary agri-food industries: the feasibility of establishing a large-scale co-operative sheep milk industry in Ireland’. Click here to read Brendan’s full profile
Alex is a 2021 Nuffield Scholar and will present his report ‘How to adapt to market demands and change in the Irish Egg industry’ at the conference. Click here to read Alex’s full profile
Ray Ó Foghlú
Ray is a 2021 Nuffield Scholar and will present his report ‘Acquiring Social Licence to Return Trees to the Irish Landscape’ at the conference. Click here to read Ray’s full profile
Brian is a 2021 Nuffield Scholar and will present his report ‘A Framework for Urban Agriculture’ at the conference. Click here to read Brian’s full profile
Joe Leonard is a 2014 Nuffield Scholar and the current Chairperson of Nuffield Ireland. Joe is a dairy farmer and is also involved, with his brother, in Bellewstown Golf Course.
Ciara O Halloran is a 2019 Nuffield Scholar. She grew up around her father’s Seafood business. After a career in youth development, she restarted the family business, The Redbank Food Company in 2014. Creating the brand Flaggy Shore Oysters, she worked with local Shellfish farmers and fishermen in getting the product to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and also directly to High End restaurants. Ciara was awarded Clare’s Best Young Entrepreneur in 2017. With her father, she diversified into Food tourism in 2018 creating “Shuck Off Oyster Experiences”. She sold the business in 2022. Most recently, she has designed and piloted a secondary school education programme for local non-profit Cuan Beo, whose mission is to reconnect the land and sea. The programme educates students around the sea, with an emphasis on protecting the water quality. Ciara is a member of the Nuffield Ireland Board.
A 2003 Nuffield Scholar, Geoff Dooley undertook a study titled ‘Bioenergy: Empowering Farmers in a Globalised Economy’. He runs a beef and forestry farm in Co Limerick. He is Head of Sustainability Services at Antaris Consulting, and he works with organisations across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in developing and operationalising sustainability as a strategy.
Karina is a 2019 Nuffield Scholar. She graduated with a BAgrSc in 2001 and completed her PhD in 2005, both from UCD. She is Professor of Dairy Production, Director of External Relations and Programme Director for the BAgrSc Dairy Business Programme in the School of Agriculture and Food Science, UCD. Her research focus is on the sustainability of dairy production systems. Karina is a member of the Dairy Subsidiary Board of An Bord Bia and the Food Vision 2030 Dairy Group. She is a past President of the ASA, a former member of the Teagasc Authority and has recently stepped down as a Nuffield Ireland Board Member.
Mary is a 2014 Nuffield Scholar and a member of the Board of Nuffield Ireland. She farms alongside her husband David on a spring calving dairy farm in Kilkenny. Previously, Mary was Head of Sales with the Irish Farmers Journal and a member of the Senior Management Team at the Agricultural Trust (owner of Irish Farmers Journal, Irish Field, Irish Country Magazine). Prior to this, she was 13 years with Glanbia Ireland in a variety of senior roles across Agribusiness. She is a past president of the Agricultural Science Association (ASA) and a founding member of Ceres Network.
Venue: Castleknock Hotel, Porterstown Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15.
See map – https://goo.gl/maps/qSPTMBfDiqmLQsuE8
Please contact Castleknock Hotel directly to book accommodation via:
Phone: +353 (0)1 640 6300