Back in 1969, he was one of the first farmers in the Republic of Ireland to modify and develop his version of the Mc Guckian system of slatted beef housing with underground slurry storage tanks.
This is a typical norm for finishing cattle on the most progressive farms.
Reared on a farm, as the second eldest of 6 children, he was educated at Clongowes Wood College and UCD.
His knowledge and leadership is widely sought and freely given; he has been a true supporter of UCD and in particular its Agricultural Science degree programmes.
Matt is a strong family person, married to Mary and is the father of nine children who have all completed 3 Praehonorabilis Praeses, totaque Universitas, Praesento vobis hunc meum filium, quem scio tam moribus quam doctrina habilem et idoneum esse qui admittatur, honoris causa, ad gradum Doctoratus in Scientiae; idque tibi fide mea testor ac spondeo, totique Academiae.
By consulting my farm journal, I can determine how much firewood we had used by this time last year and what date we started tapping trees.
I can look in the journal to determine which summer we built that row of skinny raised beds next to the goat pen, and consult a hand-drawn chart to see how early we got the peas planted last spring.
He acted as a member of the NUI Maynooth Foundation Board and on the Irish Commission on Bioethics (2002-05).
He has chaired and been an invited speaker at many scientific conferences relating to agriculture and food including the Faculty of Agriculture centenary seminar in 2002.
He is a clinical thinker and is highly sought after to Chair meetings because of his clarity of thought, his analytical skills and his ability to sum up and communicate complex issues in a simple fashion.
Successive Irish Ministers for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries have paid serious attention to Irish Farmers Journal editorials which are powerfully written and capture the mood of the sector very successfully.
As part of this development, Matt developed his own mechanical feeding systems for cattle.
For many years, undergraduate students in the Faculty of Agriculture visited his farm to study beef production and facilities as part of their courses. Matt Dempsey has served as Chairman of several prestigious committees including the Board of the Agricultural Institute from December 1985 to1988 and for a short period as Chairman of ACOT; groups which were subsequently amalgamated to become Teagasc.
In the eight and a half years since my husband and I bought our place and took up homesteading, that sentence has been heard in our house more times than we have swatted at mosquitoes. By writing it down, we have the information we need to help us avoid repeating mistakes, compare current results to those in the past, schedule our activities in a timely manner, and even enjoy anecdotal trivia.