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Farmer’s Diary: Snow – A welcome visitor in small doses

In her first Farmer’s Diary entry of 2022, Clodagh Hughes discusses the first snow of the year and her Teagasc Green Cert course.

Well, happy new year one and all! And how quickly has 2022 already settled in around my wee farm?

As soon as Christmas day is over, I always feel that I can really start planning for the year ahead. I do not even wait until the New Year to start my ‘famous’ lists.

And, despite not having last year’s lists completed, this does not stop me. I love to overwhelm myself with tasks and then beat myself up when I do not appear to be making enough progress! I jest…well, a little bit.

Okay, so as I write to you today, our first snow of 2022 has fallen. And although in true Irish weather form, it will probably be gone in a few hours, it is a welcome visitor in small doses here!

Since I was a child, I have always loved a bit of snow in winter, and I will manage to knock a bit of craic out of it, even if it is just throwing snowballs at the animals.

On a more serious, grown-up note, I do take extra care in these weather conditions. Mainly because we are not used to them. They do bring with them their own challenges, such as; slip and fall risks on black ice.

Furthermore, I have seen myself fall on frozen water that has spilt out of a bucket due to the very low temperatures.

I have several joint issues from a serious motorbike accident ten years ago, so; I have to be extra careful underfoot.

Burst water pipes are another nuisance and can make hard work even harder! Plus, the animals all need extra sustenance in severe weather.

An expanding farm business

I was online yesterday with my first Teagasc Green Cert course day since before Christmas and, the next few modules we will be studying are very interesting and very relevant to my situation as a relatively new entrant to sheep farming.

It is all about farm business planning, monitoring your expenditures etc. The modules deal with all the ‘grown-up’ side of farming, a side, which until recently, I have not been serious enough about.

Or rather, in my defence, I did not realise how to approach, and I would not have what you’d call a ‘business brain’ when it comes to bottom lines and watching my monies.

If I took anything away from yesterday’s classes; it was that I need to buck up my attitude towards the actual business side of my farm.

I keep calling it; my wee farm. Although it is ‘wee’ compared to many modern farm enterprises, it is still a business and an expanding one at that.

The lecturers are so supportive and encouraging on this course, and yesterday, in particular, I had my eureka moment!

I feel I can call myself a female farmer and try to be proud of what I have achieved and, perhaps more importantly, what I can achieve as I go forth with my sheep farming business.

Right, enough waffling…I am away to play in the snow before it melts…Ha!

Farmer’s Diary 2022: Further reading:

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