Meet The Team
Bertie grew up on a dairy farm near Newtownshandrum, in North Cork. Growing up on the family farm gave him first experience of life on a dairy farm. In 1996 he qualified with at B.Agr.Sc (hons) from University College Dublin. In 1995 as part of the four year degree he spent the nine month practical work placement working on farms in New Zealand. This was to prove a pivotal part of his future career in that it strongly shaped his subsequent years in business.
Upon leaving college in 1996 he set about starting his own business Grasstec. From small beginnings the business has steadily grown by offering the farming sector practical and innovative services that help improve productivity.
His main role in the business is overseeing the running of the company and paying particular attention to the design services offered by the business.
Anne O' Connell
Anne is the Financial Controller of the business. She is a qualified Accountant and holds a Bachelor in Business and Legal Studies (Hons) and Masters of Business Studies in Finance from University College Dublin. She previously worked in AIB Capital Markets and spent a number of years working in the Investment Management Industry in Bermuda.
Noel Gowen is a UCD agriculture graduate who completed a PhD at the Moorepark Research Centre, specialising in grazing systems and ryegrass variety comparisons. A native of county Cork, Noel took over the Grazing Musketeer program in 2009 and now coordinates Grasstec Grazing Consultancy in Ireland and UK. Areas covered include Munster and South Leinster along with clients and discussion groups in Wales and central UK.
Noel also oversees Grasstec’s Livestock Services. This includes coordinating stock listings for sale and processing orders for stock for Irish and UK buyers. Noel has a keen eye for livestock, and can select quality stock on the buyer’s behalf if needed. He also ensures that the inspection and delivery process runs smoothly.
Aileen joined the team in April 2014, bringing an extensive business background with her. She qualified with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons) and a Masters of Business Studies in Human Resources from Cork Institute of Technology. As Administration Manager, she looks after the administrative and accounts portfolio. Aileen grew up on a dairy milking farm and her knowledge of the industry is both current and extensive
Eugene grew up on a dairy farm in Ballyclough, Mallow, North Cork. Growing up on the family farm gave him first-hand experience of life on a dairy farm. In 1994, he qualified with a Diploma in Business Management from Shannon College of Hotel Management. In 1996, he went into business for himself and spent time on the family dairy farm. As part of the new business he also spent time in New Zealand.
In 2006, he joined Grasstec and has worked with the team developing the range and quality of services that it offers. His main role is developing sales and overseeing the GPS mapping division.
Pat joined the Grasstec team in 2012 and is actively working in the livestock services section. He works with Noel and Norman sourcing stock, completing sales and dealing with the logistics of livestock sales to foreign markets. He is also experienced in GPS Surveying. A keen sportsman, he is a member of the Granagh-Ballingarry Senior Hurling Team in Limerick.
Jamie grew up on a small beef farm. He attended Cork Institute of technology and completed level 8 Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Jamie gained experience in the dairy industry while working on large scale dairy farms for the last number of years. Jamie has a keen interest sport, he plays locally with his GAA club Newtownshandrum.
Grace manages the Marketing Department. She holds an Honours Degree in Marketing and a Masters in Marketing Practice from Cork Institute of Technology. She is from a beef farming background and has a keen interest in sport.
Mervyn joined the Grasstec team in 2017 and is actively working in the livestock services section with a main focus on sourcing dry stock. Mervyn has a keen interest in sport.
Having over 24 years experience in managing dairy herds on grass based systems in the UK and New Zealand. My work now looks at the measuring and managing on beef, sheep and dairy farms on a regular basis helping to focus on maximising quality and yield potential of their grass fields/paddocks.
My experience in rotational grazing is used to improve utilisation and therefore the efficiency of the grazed pasture, to maintain a high-quality feed throughout the season.
As well as this my work looks at soil health, both physically and chemically through detailed soil analysis The composition of the soil is assessed to determine which action are required to improve soil health and balance, which in turn will improve pasture productivity.
The business also offers farmers a choice of quality forage seed mixes and agronomy back up, by being an agent to a forage seed company.
Along with this, the business is linking up with a livestock genetics company, to be able to offer a varied and high-quality cattle genetics to both dairy and beef farmers in and around Wales.
Siobhan is part of the Farm Mapping and Surveying Team at Grasstec. Siobhan graduated from Cork Institute of Technology with a diploma in Civil Engineering. She has since worked for a range of architectural/engineering firms mainly processing planning applications from pre-planning stage to final grant. She has 15 years’ experience in the industry. Siobhan has a keen interest in athletics and holds All-Ireland medals from her time with Gneeve-Guilla Athletic Club.
Joe is part of the Farm Mapping and Surveying Team here at Grasstec. Joe grew up on the family farm where he is in partnership with his father on a dairy farm. He attended Limerick Institute of Technology where he completed a level 8 degree in Civil Engineering. Joe has worked on various projects across construction and agriculture related disciplines. Joe is a keen sportsman and plays hurling with Hospital-Herbertstown GAA club in Limerick.
Simon is part of Grasstec’s Farmyard Design team. Simon qualified with an Honours Degree in Structural Engineering from Cork Institute of Technology after previously completing his Level 5 & 6 Certificate in Agriculture at Pallaskenry Agricultural College. Previous to joining Grasstec, he spent a number of years working with Punch Consulting Engineers on Civil and Structural engineering projects throughout Ireland.
Simon is actively involved on his family dairy farm and understands the importance of an efficient farm yard. During the farm yard design process he uses a Robotic Total Station to accurately survey the existing farm yard. Once these details are gathered he works closely with the client to produce an appropriate and cost effective solution. He produces modular farm yard development plans to guide the client through expanding or improving their farm yard.
Simon is a member of the Intermediate Blackrock GAA team in Kilfinane, County Limerick who won an All-Ireland Junior Hurling Title in 2010.
John is part of our Farmyard Design team here at Grasstec. John joined the team in June 2015. John recently graduated from Cork Institute of Technology with a degree in Civil Engineering. John is from a suckler farming background and is a member of Macra na Feirme.
John is part of Grasstec’s Farmyard Design team. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Kilworth, Co. Cork where he was involved in all farm activities from milking cows to assisting in the construction of new farm buildings.
John graduated from Cork Institute of Technology with a degree in Civil Engineering. He has since worked for range of architectural/engineering firms and has up to 15 years experience in the industry. In those years he has also worked in the UK overseeing large scale projects in Leeds, London and North Wales, demonstrating an ability to plan project drawings to meet specifications and deliver architectural and engineering guidance on site to ensure projects are completed to quality standards and to meet client expectations.
Andrew is part of our Farmyard Design team here at Grasstec. He graduated from Cork Institute of Technology with a degree in Sustainable Energy. Before joining Grasstec, he spent a number of years working with BMD Mechanical and Process Engineers. Andrew is actively involved on his family dairy farm. He has a keen interest in sport, representing Corks C of I in hockey and Carrigaline United in soccer.
Maeve is an Engineering graduate from Limerick Institute of Technology. She has worked for a range of manufacturing companies over the years and upskilled her drawing knowledge with a course in 3D CAD. She spent 3 years working for a large agricultural machinery manufacturer before joining Grasstec.
Maeve works between the Farmyard Design Department, on 2D Drawings and Planning Applications as well as 3D Surveying with the Geomatics Department.
With a keen interest in rugby, Maeve plays for UL Bohemians Ladies Team in Limerick and also coaches in Cork club, Sundays Well.
Jerome is part of Grasstec’s Farmyard Design team. Jerome joined the team in May 2017. He recently graduated from Valenciennes Institute of Technology (France) with a Master degree in Civil Engineering. Previous to joining Grasstec, he Worked in Bouygues Construction and Rabot Ddutilleul in the North of France.
Aaron draughts 2D and 3D CAD drawings as well as rendering, and animations of our models. Aaron also uses his expertise creating full 3D models.
Daryl is a member of our Geomatics Department. His main role is to create 2D and 3D CAD drawings. Daryl has a keen interest in sport.
My husband and I used Noel Gowen, Grasstec to source in-calf heifers from Ireland in the autumn of 2012. Noel was very accommodating to our needs, meeting us at Dublin airport and driving us around the country to view the heifers. We were able to visit several farms and select from a large head of cattle.
We finally decided on 48 mainly Friesian x Jersey heifers from three different farms. We did not feel under pressure to purchase and Noel’s advice was unbiased and based on what would suit our system.
As a vet I am aware of the potential risks associated with buying in stock and wanted to minimize this risk as much as possible. The heifers we bought had all tested free from BVD and we have since tag tested their daughters which have also all proved negative.
The heifers settled well, calving with very little trouble through February and March, as expected. We are very pleased with the heifers, honest, healthy and quiet; we would definitely use Grasstec again if purchasing more stock from Ireland.
We have been using Grasstec’s mapping service for nearly 10 years and see the maps as a very important part of planning and developing any sort of new farm layout.
I got great peace of mind from knowing that we have a plan that can work
Using Grasstec to survey the existing farmyard and draw up options for future developments gave us great clarity on how the pieces of the jigsaw would fit. It also is a lot easier to change things before the first load of concrete arrives.
Using Grasstec to measure exact grass acres has been an invaluable tool on the farm. A no brainer when it comes to measuring grass week on week.
For silage fields u can go to your contractor with exact information on acres cut. Setting up your farm in terms of new paddocks & roadways etc. has also been invaluable. The list goes on.
It took me a while to get my idea’s out of my head and getting them on to the map(a few maps later!!) and all the extra ones that Grasstec helped me with.
The changes to the paddock layout and relocating the main roadway are a big help to the future development of the farm as a grassing platform. When I purchased a new piece of land there no problems with adding it to the map.
Changing some of the paddocks to more practical sizes and helping to maximize the grassing potential of the wetter parts by adding better access and more entry points to these fields and paddocks. Adding the under pass and the changes to the roadways joining onto it. Just to mention a few…
“People will look at the map and see just a map but when I look at the map I see exactly what I wanted and more when mapping Westcourt farm”
Thanks again to you and your team at Grasstec.
Efficient grassland management has been shown to be one of the cornerstones of profitable grass based cattle production systems. Efficiency goes hand in hand with accuracy.
Therefore knowing the exact size of paddocks is of paramount importance when grass budgeting. This year Grasstec mapped our grazing platform. Now we can be confident that we are estimating grass allocation with minimal margin of error.
The variations in weather experienced recently have highlighted the importance of adequate grazing infrastructure. Specifically, a good road network is required to maximise the amount of grazed grass in the diet of the milking cows, during wet weather conditions. The drought of summer 2013 has really shown the importance of adequate water infrastructure. Grasstec also designed our roadway and loop water systems.
The upfront cost of mapping services may be off-putting to many farmers. However, we feel that this cost will be recouped many times over by accurate grassland assessment, leading to increased animal performance, production and most important profitability.
I recently sold Heifers through Grasstec and was extremely pleased with their efficient service. They knew exactly what they were looking for.
They were also the only exporters who visited the farm and examined the cows that the heifers were bred off of. Noel Gowen was highly professional in the service he provided to me and I am sure anybody looking to source stock, would be more than happy with their service.
We were very happy with the service Grasstec provided, through the two consignments of in calf heifers they imported for us. Their commitment and knowledge to select the best stock made the process easier for inexperienced buyers. The fertility of the stock sourced is excellent.
100% of them went back in-calf, with 95% in-calf in the first 6 weeks and the remaining 5% within 9 weeks. All the stock were sourced by Grasstec and haulage organised helping get well priced quality stock hassle free and with no problems. Would recommend their services to other buyers.
We have been very impressed with the value and stock sourced through Grasstec. We were taken to some good farms with stock to match, all the animals were exactly what we wanted to see. There was no pressure to buy or make a decision straight away.
The animals all came with good records and arrived in very good condition after a long journey. The costs were fully explained and made clear from the start meaning there was no hidden surprises. We will certainly deal with Grasstec again in the future.
Noel’s input over the last 3 seasons has seen our grass management improve dramatically. The whole team is now more focussed and better able to predict feed surplus or deficeit and take appropriate action.
Proper autumn and spring budgets were a ‘life saver’ over the last year allowing our cows to be out eating grass instead of being inside on expensive meal and scarce silage.
Noel has challenged us in all areas of the farm’s management and has allowed us build a robust future proof business. I would have no problem recommending his services to anyone.
I used Grasstec to map the farm in spring 2014 when I was converting the farm to dairying. At that stage the farm was laid out in 1ha paddocks for grazing multiple groups of beef cattle. Having the farm mapped gave me a clearer picture of the area in each field and I was surprised to find that there was 10% of my farm under lane ways, ditches and trenches. It meant I could now budget better on grass allocations and know exactly the area in a field when I was paying contractors “by the acre”.
In October 2015 I purchased 64 acres joining my milking platform and got this mapped by Grasstec to help know the exact area in each field. We also redesigned all the paddocks on the existing platform to now incorporate the additional new ground. The redesigned paddocks are now 4ha where possible and these now allow for 36 hour grazing for 240 cows at a cover of 1500kgs. By having the Farm mapped we were able to put the new roadways that were required in the most suitable place to allow the most efficient use of the farm.
Having the farm mapped gives me great control over my farm and allows visitors contractors and students on the farm understand the farm layout and paddock numbers and avoid and misunderstandings.
“As a new entrant to dairying I have found Grasstec’s Livestock sourcing service a breath of fresh air, with such a wide network of farmers they have helped me find the very best animals available. I particularly like the fact that they bring me to meet the seller in person and prices are then discussed openly. This is my second year using their service as I know and trust the team!”
“ I recently engaged Grasstec Livestock services. They were very professional in the approach of firstly placing a valuation on the herd. I got great advice and with the minimum fuss I had customers viewing the herd. Within a very short time Grasstec brokered a deal. They handled the administration and logistics in a transparent manner and I received payment on the day the animals were leaving. The service this company offers is a revelation in terms of efficiency!”
I was very happy with the service provided by Noel and his team at Grasstec who assisted me with a full herd sale. Noel provided an ideal customer when selling my cows and heifers. All paperwork, transport and finance was provided hassle free.
We bought in calf heifers through Grasstec and we were very impressed with the quality of stock, there was no pressure to buy on the day and you were shown a large variety of stock to view.
We were looking for high EBI stock and Grasstec sourced them for us 3 of them have calved and we are very pleased with them and rest are springing down as nice heifers we would highly recommend Grasstec.
I sold milking cows through Grasstec- Pat brought a customer who was looking for the exact stock I had. The deal was done on the same day which saved me a lot of time and effort. Money was in my account prior to the cattle moving. I look forward to selling stock through Grasstec again.
Would strongly recommend Grasstec for sourcing quality replacement dairy stock. I dealt with Norman Bateman and found him to be a great help. He knew exactly what I was looking for and within a very short period of time had sourced high ebi maiden heifers for me. Would strongly recommend Norman as he is a farmer himself so he understands the needs of each individual. Fierce friendly guy also.
We are very happy with the cattle sourced by Grasstec and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services. The process of sourcing, purchasing and delivery was managed exceptionally well. Cows performed great and were very fertile, we achieved 5.5% empty in 12 weeks from a herd that comprised of only 1st calvers.
I sold stock through Grasstec and was delighted with the customer Pat brought to me, there was no time wasting and I got a fair price and all the money was in my account before the animals moved, I look forward to dealing with Grasstec again.
I am happy to recommend the service provided by Bertie Troy and his colleagues in Grasstec. I used his service initially to enlarge my paddock sizes and optimise the layout of lanes and water supply, saving me money in installation costs. When designing paddock layouts it is useful to be able to “see” the different options.
Bertie’s staff are always willing to discuss and make changes if necessary. Maps are clear and easy to follow. I have recently re-used his service to optimise the layout of additional paddocks on adjoining land.
Over the years I have had many student work on my farm. Being able to give a copy of the map has been an added benefit. This makes it very easy to explain to them what needs to be done where or where cows are to be moved to next. As the student progress it allows them to make judgements in relation the amounts of fertilizer to spread etc.
I have also had a copy of the map uploaded to IFC Agrinet Grass Measuring system which enables a visual view of grass growth.