I farm: “In Cavan with my parents Pamela and Nigel, my two younger brothers Matthew (17) and Aaron (15) and my grandfather Denzil (91) who is still quite involved in the farm. We milk 200 Holstein Friesians with 60% spring calving and 40% autumn calving.”

Farming: “The land isn’t too bad, we have a few hilly fields. There’s about 200ac and it’s mainly in one block.”

Winter milk: “We’ve always had winter milk. Growing up I didn’t know what other farmers were talking about when they said they had two months off! It’s always been Christmas morning you get up and open your presents and go and milk but we can balance the workload because so many of us have an interest in it.”

Ciara Byers, with her brothers Aaron and Matthew and their grandfather Denzil with dog Boots. \ Lorraine Teevan

Baileys: “We supply Lakeland but have a separate contract with Glanbia for milk that goes to produce Baileys. You have to meet certain targets and make sure you’ve made good silage and your concentrate use is efficient, but you’d get 7c/l. There’s a handful of Lakeland suppliers doing it but that contract is coming to an end in March.”

Breeding: “There are two blocks of AI throughout the year. We use sexed semen on the heifers and normal AI on the cows and clean up with an Angus bull.”

Performance: “We average 7,500l/cow/yr and milk solids are 511kg per cow average.”

Calves: “We keep the Friesian heifers and sell on the bulls. We keep the Angus bulls and heifers and fatten them and send them to the factory.”

\ Lorraine Teevan

Off-farm: “I’m studying Agricultural Science in UCD and have an off-farm job in a piggery. Before that I worked for a contractor for three years, mainly drawing a McHale Fusion.”

Quotable quote: “I always wanted to be a farmer growing up but I think it’s really important to get as much experience as possible and broaden your knowledge, otherwise you’re just going to be stuck in the mud.”

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