I have grown up on our family-run dairy, beef and sheep farm along the shores of Lough Swilly in Co. Donegal. I am now married to Eleanor and living in a village nearby the home farm. I work full time as a dairy farmer, alongside my father, brothers and uncle. After graduating with a B.Sc. in Agricultural Technology from Queen’s University Belfast and CAFRE Greenmount in 2013, I embarked on a six month trip to New Zealand.
Here, I enjoyed working on several dairy farms and one beef and sheep farm. This experience opened my eyes to the opportunities a thriving agricultural industry can provide to individuals, families, businesses and the wider community. About the time I returned home from NZ, we completed the purchase of another block of land. Thanks to this, and the subsequent lease of land nearby, we have been able to increase our dairy herd numbers and have plans in place to establish a second dairy unit.
I am an active member of our local Inishowen Dairy Discussion Group. My chosen study topic was influenced greatly by my time in New Zealand. During this, I was able to understand first hand how changes, such as the huge conversion of land into dairying, and the further extensification of beef and sheep farming had had on rural businesses and communities.
I hope to travel to New Zealand and Kenya as well as a number of other countries in my travels.