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Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Editor and general manager of That's Farming.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

‘I enjoy being able to put on my wellies and head out the yard’

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“Everybody must start somewhere, but a good attitude and an interest can take you a long way. One must set their goals and work to achieve them.”

Those are the words of 25-year-old Niamh Daly, who intends to return to college to pursue her studies in the agricultural field.

The Kildare native’s background is steeped in agriculture, and she gained invaluable experience on farms over the years.

Her earliest childhood memories revolve around her granduncle’s beef, tillage, and potato enterprise.

“I clearly remember picking spuds in a red cardigan when I was younger with the whole family. As I grew older, I could help with other tasks like feeding cattle,” she told That’s Farming.

“That is really when I, as well as my brother James, developed a love of farming, looking after animals and watching them grow.”

When she turned thirteen, she expressed an interest in the dairying, a passion fuelled by experience on her aunt’s and uncle’s farm in Wexford.

“Every school holiday you would find me helping in the yard, mainly on the paperwork side, but I was never afraid to get my hands dirty on the practical side. This is where I have spent most of my years in the ag industry despite farming part-time in recent years.”

Hallow Holsteins
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Hallow Holsteins is a pedigree herd renowned for its success on the show circuit with the top Twizzle family, one of which, Hallow Advent Twizzle, was overall champion at Virginia Show 2016. They also regularly win in numerous categories at shows across the country.

“They currently milk 80 cows and have upgraded the milking parlour to a 10-unit double-up Fullwood in recent years.”

“From being there, I have learnt a lot and found myself interested in the breeding side of the business. As a show herd, it is paramount that the best stock is bred year-on-year.”

“Sire selection depends on each cow as certain traits and features may want to be copied into the next generation.”

Shows

Niamh’s favourite time of year is show season and all it encompasses. For her, seeing all aspects of her efforts amalgamate in the show ring is the most fulfilling aspect.

“My ‘baby’ as I call it, is the trophy cabinet in the farm office. The rosette boards and frames with all previous champions, reserve champion and honourable mentions are on the wall.”

“Furthermore, I attend Tinahely Show, Tullamore Show and the YMA National Calf Show. Excitement and nerves build-up while applying finishing touches to animals before heading into the ring.”

Having returned home, Niamh does not currently assist with the running of Hallow Holsteins as much as she did previously. She now works as a receptionist at Kilkea Castle and assists friends with their farms.

“What I find most enjoyable about the industry is being able to make an impact on an animal’s ability to reach their full potential.”

“I enjoy being able to put on my wellies and head out the yard, having the freedom working outside. Walking to get cows in for milking helps clear your head.”

“For those working in the ag industry, we love it as it is the life that we are bred into. Famers work around the clock to make sure that the nation is fed with the best produce you can find.” Niamh added.

Future

With a burning desire to return to the ag industry, she aims to complete a degree in ag management and business to see “where and what doors open”.

“In the current climate, I need to think about where my life decisions are going to take me, and they are taking me back to the ag industry.”

“In summary, I would not change anything I have done in the past thirteen years in the ag industry. I have made friends, memories and developed a sense of confidence and pride.”

“I would not change for anything in the world. Being put to the test milking cows for the first time many years ago comes second nature to me now, much like getting behind the wheel of a tractor.”

“Indeed, I  am lucky to be able to say I was given a chance to prove myself. As a result, my confidence has grown because of such,” she concluded.

To share your story, email – catherina@thatsfarming.com.

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