Jack Hahessy Madigan and his family have farmed their land in Co. Kilkenny for over 300 years. Jack takes an innovative and modern approach to farming and is committed to an environmentally friendly philosophy where animal welfare is a top priority. 

The Madigan family are the first farm to table producers of Rose Veal in Ireland and their Kilkenny Rose Veal is reared to the highest standards.

When Jack Madigan was asked to provide his feedback from availing of the professional consultancy services of Michael Downey of Downey Robotic Services a number of factors stood out for Jack.

As neighbours, Michael was Jack’s first port of call however, Jack is quick to point out that it was the trusted advice and really straight talking that proved Michael a winner for him.

Michael ‘being a farmer himself was a high advantage’ Jack highlights that it was clear from the onset that ‘you were talking to not just a salesman but a farmer”.

Following initial consultations Jack visited Michael’s farm where he got the opportunity to see the robots in action, milking a dairy herd of over 100 cows.

Jack recalls the simplistic and business-like approach taken by Michael from the onset. Following Jack’s visit to Michael’s farm, Michael subsequently visited the Madigan Farm and set about building a straight forward plan. This visit Jack vividly recalls as he says Michael put forward a “really straight forward plan, he decided the location of the robots, everyone agreed to it on the day and it wasn’t changed after that”. It “was simple and it was practical”.

Jack also appreciated Michael’s support in sourcing heifers and his advice surrounding finance. Of key importance to the Madigan family was that “Michael was there the whole way along, even to this day, he’s there if something crops up or you have a question”.

Jack recalls Michael’s extensive knowledge of all the various robots on the market. Any question they had regarding one robot versus another Michael could answer for them. Jack recalls “he knew the catches, including the pricing on different elements and advice on collars, everything”. 

Jack highlights that they were new entrants and didn’t have much knowledge and therefore found Michael’s support invaluable to them.

Jack laughs upon reflection of the early days when his Dad in particular didn’t believe Michael or fully accept some of the advice being provided, but now how his Dad speaks about the process and admits “how honest Michael was in the answers he provided”.

The Madigan family believe that their relationship with Michael was an “extremely positive experience” – “Michael is going nowhere he’s a farmer himself and the key benefit is that you get to avail of all his experience, so you avoid any pitfalls on your own start up”.