In this week’s Farmer’s Diary, Clodagh Hughes discusses the 2021 lambing season, facilitating a student’s college placement, and her involvement with That’s Farming.
Big news…my first ewe lambed on Saturday just gone, a great wee ram lamb, big and strong, and he was up suckling within half-an-hour. This bodes well for my flock and also my new Rouge ram, Mr Woody!
This is my fourth lambing season, and I have learned so much by being 100 per cent hands-on with my own flock and also from asking loads of questions of other more experienced sheep farmers and getting advice and tips from my vet.
This leads me to tell you guys that I now feel much more self-assured in my capabilities as a female shepherd and how much easier this year has already begun for me.
Now, although you will never know it all (sure, that would be awfully boring), I am in a position to confidently share some of my own skills and farming experience with others, should they wish.
For starters, my niece, Lara, was staying with me for a few days last week. She is nearly fifteen, and although she is from an urban background, my brother has always maintained a good link with the countryside for his children.
It is obviously not her first time to visit my wee farm, but this was the longest she has stayed, and as she is a young woman now, so she was a great help to me.
She got stuck in from the beginning, and I was wrecked after she left! We had great craic too, which was much needed amidst these challenging times.
She is at that stage in her life now where she is trying to figure out what she might want to do in the future; you never know I could be cultivating my own wee farmeress here!
The only disappointment was that Lara went home on Friday night, so she did not get to see her first lamb of 2021! But fear not, there are plenty more to come, and she will be able to stay again.
Also, I have a lassie coming to do work experience with me in March. She is studying agricultural science in Letterkenny IT. I am both excited and also a little nervous that I will be good enough to teach her some shepherding skills.
It is nearly two years since I contacted the editor of That’s Farming, Catherina Cunnane, in response to a segment she runs on women in agriculture.
My very first article for That’s Farming was a brief insight into my experiences as a woman in the farming community in Ireland.
It covered the reasons why I got into sheep farming after working for years as a professional chef, and I was able to share some of my experiences and future ambitions.
So, for any females reading this (sorry, lads) and they are involved in the farming in any capacity, don’t hesitate to contact That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, who runs a regular segment on women in agriculture.
Ok, folks, I must dash as I am expecting a flurry of lambs anytime now…bye!
Read more diary entries from Clodagh Hughes.