Owen Brennan

Chairman | Devenish Group (Ireland)
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Owen Brennan is Executive Chairman of Devenish Group. In 1997 Owen led the team which acquired Devenish, a company now dedicated to intensive research and development. Devenish manufactures specialty supplements, infant diets and additive products for the feed and food industry. Owen’s experience in the feed and food industry and his present role highlight agriculture as integral to healthy food and to a healthy environment.

Owen grew up in a small family merchant business in Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow. His commitment to the agriculture and food industry stems from his strong farming and business background and from his own affinity for and knowledge of the sector.

He graduated from University College Dublin in 1982 with a degree in Agriculture and in 1992 with an MBA from the Smurfit Business School. In 2015, Owen was awarded the Belfast Telegraph Cup, presented by the Ulster Farmers’ Union for services to the sector. In 2015 he was also conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by University College Dublin. In 2018 he was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science Economics by Queen’s University Belfast. In 2019 he was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by Harper Adams University. Owen was appointed as an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the Northern Ireland agri-food industry in 2019.

Owen served as President of the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association and was previously Chairman of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) and served on the Agri-Food Strategy Board in Northern Ireland.

Devenish, headquartered in Northern Ireland, is a global agri-technology company which employs over 800 people and operates in more than 50 countries. Brands within the Devenish Group of companies include A-One, based in Thirsk North Yorkshire also with an operation in Denmark, Hi Peak Organic Feeds, the UK largest organic feed compounder based in Killamarsh Sheffield and Yem-Vit, a premix manufacturer based in Izmir Turkey. Devenish has sites in the USA in Fairmont Minnesota, Maquoketa and Waterloo Iowa and Thompson Georgia. Devenish also has operations in Mexico, Uganda and Kenya.

In 2016 Devenish was awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade. The Devenish Lands at Dowth are Devenish’s internationally recognised Research Farm and Global Innovation Centre dedicated to developing sustainable agriculture solutions and promoting human health through nutrition. It has been designated as an International Lighthouse Farm, i.e. a farm that is leading the way in the future of sustainable food production, by Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Europe’s No. 1 university for agriculture in Europe. On the farm there are projects on: land management to improve farm profitability and environmental performance; carbon neutral farming; managed soil improvement; nutrient optimisation along the food chain; and sward diversity.

We have recently launched Project “HeartLand” which was ranked No. 1 in Europe and awarded €1.4m from the Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Programme and funds five PhD students to help build a farm management system that has a positive impact on the environment, meat quality and ultimately human health.
At Devenish, our strategy takes a whole system approach: One Health – from Soil to Society, encouraging health of soil, plant, animal, human and environment taken together.

Devenish continues to grow and its commitment to research and innovation is supported by a significant and ongoing investment in order to develop solutions to challenges faced by the industry and the world today and into the future.
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