Whats the story Episode 4: Bruce Thompson Co Laois

Episode 4: Catching up with dairy farmer Bruce Thompson

This week we go to visit Bruce Thompson another very happy customer using our unique Probiotic and Postbiotic for calves.



Bruce Thompson is a renowned dairy farmer based in Ballyfin, Co. Laois, Ireland. He operates an eighth-generation family farm, which has transitioned from a mixed farming system to a commercial dairy operation with a herd of approximately 320 cows. His farm is recognized for its adherence to the Teagasc dairy roadmap, emphasizing a grass-based, high-efficiency production system​ (Farming for Nature)​​ (Agriland.ie)​.

Farming Practices and Innovations

  • Sustainable Agriculture: Bruce is committed to sustainable farming practices. He has integrated multi-species swards into his grassland management to enhance biodiversity and soil health. Additionally, he manages hedgerows to support local wildlife, including buzzards, red squirrels, and pine martens.
  • Water Management: Continuous upgrades to the farm’s water system have been necessary to support the expanding herd, including increasing water flow and adding more troughs to accommodate the cows.
  • Milking Efficiency: The farm features a 44-point Waikato rotary milking parlour, one of the first of its kind in Ireland, significantly improving the efficiency and ease of milking operations​

Focus on Dung Beetles

Bruce Thompson has developed a keen interest in dung beetles and their role in sustainable agriculture. His fascination began after a safari in South Africa, where he observed the ecological benefits of dung beetles. This interest led him to implement practices on his farm to protect and increase dung beetle populations, reducing the use of anthelmintics and enhancing soil and pasture quality​​.

  • Nuffield Scholarship: Bruce’s dedication to dung beetles earned him a Nuffield Scholarship, allowing him to research dung beetle husbandry and grazing strategies globally. Despite travel restrictions in 2020, he conducted significant remote research and visited Australia to study dung beetles in action​.
  • Parasite Management: By reducing anthelmintic usage, Bruce has fostered a thriving dung beetle population, which in turn helps manage parasites naturally. His farm has not wormed cows since 2017, relying instead on targeted selective treatment (TST) based on faecal egg counts​​.

Educational and Community Engagement

Bruce is actively involved in educating other farmers and the broader community about sustainable farming practices and the importance of dung beetles. He participates in numerous forums, webinars, and media appearances to share his knowledge and promote environmental stewardship in agriculture​.