RDS Agriculture Awards.
Pictured are Nick and Jack Cotter.
Picture by Shane O’Neill, Coalesce.

Jack and Nick Cotter have once again proved to be a force to contend with when it comes to innovation. They have become one of the worthy winners of the RDS Spring Awards for 2020, taking the Rural Innovation Award for their lamb handling system, the now famous Cotter Crate, which facilitates the quick, safe, easy and accurate administration of doses, drenches and vaccines to lambs from three weeks of age. 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.
They are no strangers to awards, having been awarded the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2019. It was also the best agri- engineering startup and best overall startup in the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards 2019.
The Cotter Crate is only one part of these hard- working brother’s story. Cotter Bros Firewood is also a business that they have created. It is a local farm business, based on producing and selling high-quality, ready to burn Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) certified firewood. What is pretty unique about the brothers is the fact that they set up the business in 2011 when they were just 11- and 13-years-old and their entrepreneurial skills appear to keep developing in the intervening years.
They are also providers of Cotter’s organic lamb.
“We raise our lambs as nature intended, eating the grass ( organically certified since 2014) that grows on the farm.” they state. They don’t feed them grains or cereals and this gives the meat a more natural flavour, making it more nutritious, sustainable, and more ethically produced. In 2019, the meat was awarded an Irish Quality Food award, one of the highest recognitions of good food in the country.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s no stopping these lads. Congratulations to Cotter Brothers and we’ll continue to follow this remarkable local success story with great interest.