Joe Leonard is married to Mairead, they have 4 children and are from Stamullen, Co. Meath. He was awarded the 2014 Nuffield Ireland Scholarship, sponsored by the Peter Daly Trust , Dairymaster and LIC. Joe is a dairy farmer currently milking 300 cows and is also involved, with his brother, in Bellewstown Golf Course, a business they set up together 10 years ago. Future expansion plans will see the dairy increase to 500 cows in 2015. It is partly as a result of setting up and developing these businesses that he has come to his Nuffield topic ‘To Investigate and develop Stress Management Systems in Farming in Ireland’ with specific emphasis on the education of young farmers and agri-industry personnel. As an industry, Joe feels, agriculture needs to recognise that the farmer is the single most important factor in the success of the business and that while technical ability/efficiency are important it is crucial that farmers are taught to respect their own limitations and needs as well as their ambitions and capabilities.
Joe was appointed as a Director in January 2017, and was re-elected to the Board in 2018. He was appointed to the Board of Nuffield International in January 2020.