To mark International Women’s Day today (March 8th, 2023), That’s Farming has compiled a list (in no particular order following feedback from readers) of 8 women in ag ambassadors that you should follow on TikTok.
The Kerry native documents her “struggles as a part-time suckler farmer” and commonly features her beloved Massey Ferguson 135.
That’s Farming previously profiled her as part of our women in ag series. She explained to us how she began working on the family farm in recent years, following his father’s accident and is a full-time store manager for ALDI.
“My dad had an accident eight years ago, which has left him paralysed from the chest down.”
“Neighbours had been helping on the farm for a few years to keep it going, and I just decided to give it a go when I moved back.”
“I had an interest in farming when I was young but lost interest in my teens and 20s. My parents have four daughters, so farming was never really encouraged in our house.”
Covid-19 lockdowns made Katie Shanahan “realise how much I love being outdoors and thoroughly enjoy the work that comes with farming”.
She leads a diverse life as a sheep and beef farmer on her family-run enterprise, social care worker, the owner of Shanahan School of Irish Dance and a third-level student.
“I was very unsure what I wanted to do after my Leaving Cert,” she told Catherina Cunnane.
“I never intended to do the Green Cert as taking over the family farm was never a career I foresaw for myself.”
“My aim is to show my journey as a farmer’s daughter to a farmer with her own flock of pedigree sheep and to be taken seriously by other farmers in the industry.”
“Although I am starting my farming journey rather late, it is the best decision I ever made.”
Alison Lyness claims she was “born a farmer, growing up as an only daughter” and took the reins of the family farm in recent years when her father suffered ill-health and reduced stock numbers, as she told our resident editor, Catherina Cunnane, in this article, as part of our popular Women in Ag segment.
She was “very keen” to carry on the farm and give herself a challenge and bring new ideas and ways to the farm.
“The only problem was I own my own beauty salon, which I run from home, which is so different to farming. So, we decided I would do my business part-time and carry on farming.”
Sixsmith – also known as the Irish Farmerette – is a dairy farmer milking 140 cows with her husband, Brian, blogger and author of fun farming books, including Would You Marry a Farmer, How to be the Perfect Farm Wife and An Ideal Farm Husband.
On the video-sharing platform, she posts about family life, dairy farming in Ireland, writing and motherhood.
Meanwhile, on her blog, she shares an insight into life on an Irish dairy and beef farm, recipes, stories of Irish history and book reviews.
She explained: “I have been a dental nurse, then did five years of college ending with a MA and PGCE, I spent five years as a secondary school teacher, then an interior designer with an online store, and turned to social media training and organising the Blog Awards Ireland in 2011 and I have been writing books since 2013.”
McClelland, a part-time farmer, camogie player and a special educational needs teacher from Northern Ireland, shares an insight into “a little bit of everything” from farming, a farmhouse renovation project, work and motherhood on her TikTok account.
As featured in this interview on That’s Farming previously, she is a beef and sheep farmer residing in Draperstown with her other half, Aidan Coyle and their newborn son.
She previously told Cunnane: “Showcasing my farming venture on social media platforms has provided me with an opportunity to create videos, document anything that has been going on and show my daily activities.”
“My friends and family cannot believe how involved I am with farming. It was not something that I thought I would enjoy that much, but here I am; I do not think I will ever not enjoy it.”
“I have loved learning everything about sheep farming and then teaching others and passing on the knowledge I have to other people,” Saoirse concluded.
22-year-old Shauna, Co Donegal, is a beef and sheep farmer and livestock haulier, who is following in the footsteps of her father, Tony, as is her sister, Emma.
She previously told That’s Farming in this interview: “I hated school and always wanted to drive a livestock lorry.”
“I would take days off to go with daddy with cattle. We plan to work together and see how that goes, maybe expand a bit; I will see what happens.”
Tony McBrearty & Daughters Livestock Haulage recently took the delivery of a brand-new DAF XF 530 FTR 6X2 fully equipped tractor unit, which has since been named ‘The Black Stag’.
Aoife Mullen has christened herself ‘The Dairy’ Queen, a “29-year-old Irish dairy farmer posting cute cow content” on TikTok.
Growing up in the capital, despite her city roots, she “always had an interest in working with animals, but unfortunately, I did not get into farming until my 20s when I travelled to New Zealand”.
“What started as a temporary calf rearing job became my passion for farming. I was always under the impression you had to be raised in farming to be a farmer,” she told our editor, Catherina Cunnane, in this interview.
“Moreover, I have a degree in marketing management and worked in marketing for four years before I started farming, but I was always unhappy in the office environment.”
“So, I started farming when travelling to New Zealand in 2019, and I never completed a Green Cert or any official agriculture degree. I have learned everything just from working and asking questions.”
Drumderg Farm’s expansion journey has allowed Margaret Little to take an alternative pathway, swapping full-time nursing for life as a full-time farmer.
She farms in Tempo, Co. Fermanagh, alongside her husband, Andrew, and his father, Raymond, who purchased the holding in 1979.
Raymond began farming with 16 cows in an 8-cow byre, and since then, the farm has grown from strength to strength over the last four decades.
In 2017, a 30-cow house was constructed, and the herd increased to 100 cows, while two old silos have been converted to cubicles in the last two years.
“We increased the number of cows as I was working full-time as a nurse and Andrew was working part-time. We both wanted to come home to farm full-time, and we had to expand to do so.” Margaret explained to Catherina Cunnane, editor of That’s Farming in this news article.
Little provides an insight into life on their Fermanagh-based farm, from tractor work to milking and calf rearing and family life.
(Note: Click name to access each account listed above)