Kilfenora has been a centre of farming since pre-history.
Cattle predominate, and mostly the focus is on rearing calves and then selling on. There is some dairy farming, and historically Kilfenora was a noted market place for butter. With the Kilfenora Mart situated just outside the village, Kilfenora is still well known for cattle trading. Quite a number of local farmers also have sheep – there was a sheep mart in the village for many years until recently.
The Burren landscape is a very special environment for animal farming, and ‘Burren beef and lamb’ is a recognised mark of quality connected to a prescribed number of farms. The Burren Winterage festival annually celebrates the unique cattle farming method in the Burren, stretching back thousand of years. Cattle are moved out into the heart of the Burren where they overwinter – they are not kept in barns – and feed on the special grasses and the Spring flower meadows to be found in the limestone paving area.
There is a range of historical monuments in Kilfenora that relate to the village’s long market history, as well as an ancient market cross at Noughaval.
The Burren Free Range Pork farm outside the village is an award winning eco friendly sustainable farm in the Burren with rare breed pigs. Additionally there are small holders who keep goats and poultry. Pheasants are reared in the area and can be heard honking in some fields. Sheep-dog demonstrations (daily in season) are a popular visitor attraction at nearby CaherConnell stone fort.
Visitors will see and hear donkeys on some farms, and horse and pony breeding is widespread. Connemara ponies in particular are bred south of the village.
There are also a few specialist vegetable and plant breeders, and significant areas of forestry. However the main crop is grass, with hay cutting much in evidence in season. There are even a few traditional hayricks to be seen in remote corners.
Naturally our advice to visitors touring the area to be particularly mindful of what it means to be in and around farmland. Drivers need to go slow on our rural roads as tractors or loose animals could be round any corner. And of course gates should be shut and any warning signs observed for your own safety