In this article, That’s Farming, takes a look at who featured as part of our Suckler Focus and Student Focus series.
Varney (26) does not hail from an agricultural background but has desired to become a vet “for as long as I can remember”.
She began her studies in veterinary medicine and surgery at Harper and Keele Veterinary School, based at Harper Adams, in 2020 and is set to become one of its very first vet graduates in 2025.
She told www.thatsfarming.com editor, Catherina Cunnane:
“I took a long route to be here. In my final year of college, I was told to “not bother” applying for vet school – that I was not smart enough.”
“Instead, I studied a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science at Hartpury University, graduating with a 2:1.”
“After Hartpury, I still wanted to be a vet. I applied for vet school during my final year, which was unsuccessful.”
“Honestly, I was heartbroken, but after some encouragement from family and friends, I decided to reapply.”
“I spent the year gaining more veterinary work experience and continued working a paid job to save money for my second degree and was then successful in securing my place.”
“Throughout my first degree, alongside my waitressing jobs, I completed a huge variety of veterinary experience to help me stand out on my application,” she added.
Read more about her journey.
Shane Reilly – Raghallaigh Blondes
Suckler farming runs deep in the veins of Shane Reilly, a part-time farmer from Co. Cavan, who runs a 20-cow suckler herd with his father.
Blonde is the breed of choice for the recent Green Cert graduate, a journey which began with the purchase of a stand-out stock sire a decade ago.
“He had length, width, and muscle – possessing basically everything you could want in a bull, and he produced super progeny,” he told Cunnane.
“The breed, in my opinion, may not be seen as frequently as other continental breeds, but it is most definitely starting to make waves in the ring,” he added.
The father-and-son breed pedigrees under the Raghallaigh prefix, which is registered with the Irish Blonde Cattle Society, and a selection of commercial females – primarily Limousin-crosses or Charolais-crosses.
Read more on this profile.
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