As well as being one of Leinster’s premier stainless steel farm building contractors, Kennedy Construction Borris have also been appointed sole agent for the Republic of Ireland for Agricow cow comfort products. We interrupted proprietor Paddy Kennedy’s increasingly-busy schedule to get an update.
Since 1999, Kennedy Construction Borris have established themselves as market leaders for fabricating and erecting the full spectrum of stainless steel farm buildings across Leinster and parts of Munster. Specialising in all farm building work as well as light industrial and commercial structures, in October, 2021, KCB also became main dealer and distributor for the 26 counties of the acclaimed Agricow range of cow care and animal welfare products.
A world leader in cow brush production, from its base in the Lake Garda district of Northern Italy, Agricow manufactures cow grooming brushes, cubicle mattresses and automatic scrapers as well as a fully motorised hoof pairing crate specially designed for the farmer.
When we spoke to Paddy Kennedy, the Carlow contractor had not long returned home from an extensive tour of the four buildings comprising Agricow’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. “I took on the agency in October,” he confirms. “It was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. It was their world-renowned cow brushes that we were enquiring about initially but they have an excellent range of other products, including electronic hoof paring crates, diagonal feed barriers and they also make their own mats.”
A real revolution in cow care and comfort, Agricow cow brushes offer maximised productivity from a dairy herd by optimising animal health and welfare. The reality is that cleaner, happier, less stressed cows are more productive.
For more than a quarter of a century, Agricow has projected, developed, manufactured and marketed a wide range of products, with the aim of granting customers the highest level of wellbeing for their animals – and thus for enterprise productivity. They take care of the living space of the cow (which must feel good inside and outside the barn), offering a total comfort system for dairy and beef farms including mattresses for cubicles, rubber mats for walkways, scrapers for cleaning the aisles, electric brushes, drinking troughs, destratifiers and fans.
“A number of different brushes are available,” Paddy continues. “The pendulum brush is one-metre long and its hourglass shape is ideally suited to groom cows of any shape or size; the double brush is spring-loaded and comes with a back and side brush; and there is also a calf brush and a goat brush.” All Agricow brushes come with easy-to-use intelligent electronics which monitor the start and end of working cycles, track operating hours and aid troubleshooting.
Value-added, productivity-boosting Agricow animal comfort products are available through Kennedy Construction Borris to farmers throughout the Republic of Ireland. While it is still relatively early days for the new agency, Paddy has been greatly encouraged by interest levels and feedback thus far.
As has been the case for 23 years and counting, the core business of Kennedy Construction Borris is still very much centred around the fabrication and erection of high-quality, bespoke structural steel farm and light industrial buildings. Paddy says 2021 was one of his busiest years since he went out on his own before the turn of the millennium and the current calendar year has continued very much in a similar vein, with demand for his products and services decidedly strong…
“We’re busy working on various storage sheds locally and also one in Balbriggan,” he relates. “We also have three milking parlours on at present as well as four cubicle houses and an industrial unit here in Carlow. All in all, we have a nice bit of work on at the moment.
“Enquiries have actually quietened down a bit but that always happens at this time of year and, with milk prices being so good, I’d expect them to pick up again come August / September. As it is, we have a good three or four months of work ahead of us and things are looking very positive.”
Full-time employment is generated for a close-knit, vastly-experienced crew of three, while Paddy also enlists the services of three further sets of subcontracted erectors. “We erect ourselves, too, and we also do some concrete work, although the bulk of the concrete work is subcontracted to Trevor Patterson Construction.”
For about a decade now, Kennedy Construction has been the main structural steel contractor to local company Kelly Machinery in Borris, who also have facilities in Kilkenny and Abbeyleix. “Kellys are a great company to work for. We’re doing a large storage shed for them at their sister company in Kilkenny – Kilkenny Agri Machinery [formerly Kellys of Kilkenny]. We also did an extension to their building in Borris a few years back and have another job coming up there soon.
“Two years ago, we were main structural steel and cladding contractor on the construction of new stores at Gordon Hegarty and Sons in Tullow, where Donougha O’Brien Plant Hire did the civil and ground works.”
Paddy also takes on some groundworks projects himself from time to time and, in this capacity, last year had the honour of installing a magnificent new walkway around the main playing pitch of his local GAA club, Mount Leinster Rangers.
Through a combination of repeat business from satisfied customers and the high volume of positive referrals through word of mouth that goes hand in hand with a stellar track record for excellence, Kennedy Construction Borris is in big demand for structural steel farm buildings across counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wexford, Dublin, Wicklow and beyond.
“We’re lucky to have some nice clients and things are going very well,” Paddy concludes modestly. “We’re just ready to start work on a large 30-bay unit for a farmer in Donard in West Wicklow – a lovely 25,000 sq ft building with milking parlour, drafting area, cubicle house and offices, etc.”
Like every project undertaken by Paddy and his team over the past 23 years, this one will be given their full, undivided attention and will be completed to the highest standard, on time, within budget and to exact customer specification.
Kennedy Construction Borris,
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 5, September/October 2022