Celebrating Cotter BrotherS’ continued success

Limerick brothers Nick and Jack Cotter after having been presented with the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2019, sponsored by Siemens. Pic Peter Houlihan SON Photo

The Weekly Observer/Vale Star continues to celebrate the rising successes of two enterprising young brothers, Jack and Nick Cotter of Dromtrasna, Abbeyfeale. On October 24th last, they won the Rising Star award sponsored by Lidl Ireland at the Irish Quality Food Awards 2019 for their Cotter Organic Lamb Business, held in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road. This award recognises individuals aged under 25 who have a passion for quality food and drink and are using their entrepreneurial spirit to advance within the industry.
Cotter Organic Lamb is a local organic business based on the Cotter’s family farm in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick. Jack and Nick, now 21 and 18, established Cotter Organic Lamb (Bord Bia QA and Organic Certified by Organic Trust) because they saw an opening for a customer who wants sustainable, local and high-quality produce. This diversified their current family farming business. Elena Dimama, the editor of the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards, said: “With the Rising Star Award, we want to celebrate all the excellent young people who go above and beyond to achieve their goals within our vibrant industry. We were looking for bright individuals from the industry who stand out for their entrepreneurship, ideas and the potential to become dynamic future leaders, and I can proudly say we have found two of them in the Cotter Brothers”.
Commenting on Lidl’s sponsorship of the Rising Star Award, Kevin Haverty, Buying Director at Lidl Ireland said: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to celebrate Ireland’s stars of the future within the Irish food and drink industry. At Lidl Ireland we pride ourselves in supporting Irish food innovation and Ireland’s talent in the retail sector”.
The brothers have also been awarded the Engin-eers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2019, sponsored by Siemens, for their innovative lamb handling system, the Cotter Crate. The Cotter Crate, developed by Jack Cotter (21), a student of Limerick Institute of Technology studying Process and Management Engineering, and younger brother Nick (18), a first-year student of Law and Business at UCC and Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar, was deemed the best innovation by the Engineers Ireland judging panel.
The Cotter Crate is a lamb handling system that facilitates the quick, safe, easy and accurate admin-istration of vaccines, doses and drenches to lambs from three weeks of age. The innovative crate assists by safely and comfortably restraining lambs, allowing a farmer to administer multiple treatments quickly and accurately. The Cotter brothers have estimated that when using the Cotter Crate a farmer can dose 400 lambs an hour on one dose and dose 200 lambs with 4 treatments, lowering labour time and costs when compared with current methods. In addition to being awarded the title of Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award, the brothers also received a €2,000 prize fund.
Now in its 21st year, the annual competition focuses on showcasing innovation excellence amongst engineering third-level students across Ireland. Five student finalists were invited to present on their projects, which ranged from medical to housing and agriculture innov-ations, to a panel of judges at the competition final in Dogpatch Labs, Dublin. Commenting on the students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland said, “the initiatives shortlisted for the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award competition are a testament to the talent and creativity that exists in our third-level education institutions. Today’s engineering students will soon take the role of Ireland’s future engineering leaders and will be at the forefront of developing innovative solutions for communities in Ireland and overseas. Congratulations to the Cotter brothers and each of the shortlisted finalists and I wish each project team every success with their future studies and engineering careers.”
This success follows on from The Cotter Brothers awards at the Ploughing Championships 2019. The Cotter Crate won ‘Best Agri-Engineering Start-up’ and the Alfred Cox Founder’s Perpetual Trophy for the ‘Best Over-all Start-up Innovation’ at the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards in September. Nick and Jack Cotter will soon join Ireland’s best engineering leaders and teams on 15 November at the 2019 Engineers Ireland Excell-ence Awards, held in association with ESB, where they will be joined by over 400 engineering professionals to celebrate and showcase Ireland’s best engineering talent.
There’s no doubting the ability of these young men. They are a perfect example of innovation, and of our younger generation making their mark on the business world by using resources available to them. We wish them every success in their future ventures.