In the autumn of 1996, a group of women came together to complete a series of farm management courses organised for them by Teagasc in North Tipperary. Little did they think that, over 20 years later, they would still be together with friendships forged for life.

It all happened simply enough, says Catherine Mullally, who has been chair of Focus Group ’97 since the beginning. “David Collins was CEO of Teagasc in North Tipperary, and when we finished the courses he asked if we would like to stay together as a group. And we did. Today we have 65 members, who all farm within a 20-mile radius of Thurles.”