As part of this week’s Student Focus series, That’s Farming speaks to Ciara Doody, who studies agricultural science and helps with the running of the family farm.
Ciara Doody Boherbue, Co. Cork is an agricultural science student hailing from a family running a dairy and beef enterprise.
The 19-year-old is the fifth generation of the family to farm the land in the ‘Rebel County’.
Ciara and her brother, Kevin, assist their father, Kevin, on the farm, home to Friesian and Hereford cattle. Ciara’s responsibilities range from milking, calf-rearing, machinery-related tasks, general farm maintenance to administrative duties.
“The family farm has gone through many generations and will continue to as it is a huge aspect of my life and my family’s lives,” Ciara told That’s Farming.
“We have a traditional farm with a 12-unit Dairymaster herringbone parlour, a modern-day slatted unit and a cubicle house for housing cattle over winter periods.”
“The most enjoyable aspect of my farming life is calving season. I love to see new-born calves in spring, but I also have a huge passion for milking cows. I love getting my hands dirty when it comes to all parts of farming life.”
“Cows normally start calving at the end of January to the end of March with very little breaks in between. Last year, our herd performed very well, which led to a 4-star rating for our milk quality.”
The Cork native is currently studying a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science at the Institution of Technology Tralee. Having enrolled in September 2020, Ciara is in her first year of the four-year degree programme.
“I selected this course because I have a huge interest in agriculture, and I felt the course offers excellent career opportunities in this line of work.”
“My degree programme involves many different subjects, including agri chemistry, biology, farm mechanisation, maths and many more. I would have loved to go into veterinary, but now I am studying agricultural science and farming and am very happy overall.”
“In saying that, I will never close the veterinary door as I feel that it is a spectacular job to be able to come out and help a sick animal or help a farmer diagnose an animal.”
19-year-old Ciara plans to enter the working world, possibly with a state agency in the agricultural field, when she completes her undergraduate studies.
In the coming years, she is considering returning to college to further her studies to up-skill and gain knowledge of improved farming practices and technology.
“I feel agriculture is a great sector to work in, offering many career opportunities ranging from food science or advisory. By being involved in farming today, one can make a great difference in our lives and the generations to come.”
“Work hard in school and college, and it will be worth every bit of it, thus gaining employment in an industry that can make a real difference in the world today in terms of people’s diet and the sustainability for future generations to come. I believe no other sector can provide this level of career opportunities.”
“In time, I would love to increase the herd to about 150 cows. At this moment in time, it is not possible with work and college commitments. I have no doubt that one day I will be milking up to 150 cows, if not more than 150.”
“My ultimate goal is to get my degree, a job and to take over the farm from my dad one day. hopefully, in the future, I will be in a position to buy a farm and build my own dairy herd.” Ciara concluded.