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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘We are farming over 3 farms that make up 1,300-acres’ – Galway natives in France

In this article, That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, catches up with Laura Gardiner, from Farming Life at La Forge, following our interview in April 2021, which you can read via this link.

“We are a family from County Galway in Ireland. Declan (my father), Emily (my mother), Luke, William (my two older brothers) and myself moved to the Creuse region of France to farm in October 2006. Here, we are farming beef cattle with cereals too.

Currently, we are farming over 3 farms that make up 1,300-acres, two that we own, and we rent the other.
Since April 2021, there have been quite a few changes, one of which is that we no longer farm goats.

We used to milk 180 dairy goats for 10 years, after which we stopped milking and started rearing kid goats for replacement milkers.

That has now stopped to cut down on work as myself, and my two brothers have left the farm.

We have also started farm lets on Airbnb. One farmhouse was renovated and is now being rented out as holiday lets, with a second farmhouse that is currently being renovated as another.

Australia

I previously came to Australia for a year in 2019-2020 and loved it. I went home during Covid and that is when I started my YouTube channel.

I decided to come back to Australia in October of last year as I did not get to travel as much as I would have liked to the first time.

Since arriving in Australia, I have been primarily on the Gold Coast in Queensland working in hospitality and in a customer care (office) job. Moving here put a holt on my YouTube channel, but I missed it a lot, so I decided to continue it while I am over here.

We now have two segments on the channel: the first is mam and dad are still filming on the farm in France and sending it to me to edit.

Also, now I am trying to go to different farms around Australia filming to show farming over here and see the differences and similarities in farming between Ireland, France, and Australia.

Both YouTube and Instagram are still going, but it has slowed down since I have been over here. I plan on getting back to more regular content soon.

Social media – Farming Life at La Forge

On our YouTube channel, we have recently hit 18,000 subscribers which I am thrilled about and our Instagram account is at 8400 followers.

So far, I have filmed an organic sheep and cattle farm, an Irish guy who is farming a beef farm with quite a big tractor collection (primarily Ford/New Holland) and a rodeo/bull ride, but I intend to get out and film many more farms from, cereal, dairy, vegetable to maybe even goats.

I have recently quit my job to take more time for filming and travelling as it was quite hard to keep up with editing while having a full-time job.

I have now been in Australia for 9 months. My visa ends in October, and I have not yet decided whether I will extend it for another year.

I miss home and the farm a lot and I will be returning as soon as I have finished travelling, but I have no set date as of yet.

Future ahead

My plan is still to return home to the farm, but I do hope to travel to more countries like New Zealand, the US and Germany.

Plus if things go well filming over here and our viewers enjoy it, I would love to film farms in these countries as well.

The farm in France is still very much home for me, and as much as I do love our farm and farming, I’m still unsure if France is where I would want to settle long term.

I would like to try living in Ireland for a while as I left when I was 8. As for mam and dad, they love farming in France and are very much settled there.

While moving to France was tough, especially leaving family and friends behind, we do think it was the right move and if we were to go back and do it again, we would.
Do you think it has provided you with lots of opportunities?

France is all around a great country for farming, especially with the more affordable land prices in France compared to Ireland.

I do think that if we stayed in Ireland we would have had the opportunity to farm full-time like we do here.

With the farm it can be hard to get away, Dad has only been home a handful of times, whereas mam and myself try to get back at least once a year if we can.”

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