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Diary: Pairing with a primary school for Farmer Time

In this week’s diary of a farmer, Clodagh Hughes discusses tupping 2021, preparing for lambing 2022 and getting involved with Farmer Time.

With my breeding season in full swing here, I am already planning for next year’s lambing season.

Now, to be fair, I am only just starting to think about it. I am a wee bit away from setting up the shed and sorting out my lambing equipment, but it is never too early to make a small start.

I did a quick visual sweep of my lambing shed this week, and there’s an awful lot of ‘stuff’ that has accumulated over the summer months.

This is fine, as long as I do not leave it until the week before lambing to get my husband to shift his stuff ‘outta town’!

To be fair, he is not the only one to blame.  And, it is only natural to utilise any space we have on the farm.

Last week, I got some sage advice from a sheep farmer at the mart to dose my lambs that were not thriving with a good supplement containing vitamin B12, amongst other important vitamins and minerals.

This I did promptly, and, lo and behold, I can finally see an improvement.

Farmer Time

I am excited to share with you good folks a nationwide project I am getting involved with called, Farmer Time.

And it does what it says on the tin. It involves me, the farmer, being zoomed into a classroom somewhere in Ireland to spend time with a class group to show them some of the realities of farm life and hopefully, maybe, even teach them something useful about country life and sheep farming from my own experiences.

Plus, share all the other fun things that go on around here! I have lots of videos and pictures, and I cannot wait to introduce them to all my animals.

I only hope my very temperamental internet does not play up too much, as I hope to do live reports from around the farm.

Let me explain a little about it; “Farmer Time is a unique programme that links farmers with the consumers of tomorrow”.

It is a fortnightly 15/20-minute video call between a farmer and a paired classroom group.

It was founded in England by a farmer called Tom Martin and Airfield Estate in Co. Dublin has teamed up with LEAFUK (Linking Environment and Farming) to provide this free service to schools.

I am really looking forward to my first session, which is taking place on Tuesday, October 12th. Time to dust off my selfie stick!!!

Class group

I have been paired with a third and fourth class group of boys and girls from a lovely village called Craughwell, Co Galway.

I had a video call with their teacher last week, and we are both looking forward to getting stuck in.

It helped me to hear her say that her students are also looking forward to it. I do not know about you guys, but I do not like being judged by anyone under 10!

Now, excuse me. I must make an appointment with the beauticians. Gotta look me best for my public, darlings!

Diary of a farmer

Read more of Clodagh’s diary entries.

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