I manage: “A 400-cow dairy farm located outside Fordstown in Co Meath, which is owned by Thomas Carpenter.”

The herd: “The herd is made up of spring-calving, grass-based, high-EBI Holstein Friesian and crossbred cows. Myself, two other full-time staff and some part-timers are employed on the farm.”

Output: “Calving starts on 1 February. The cows are all in the shed and before they were dried off were doing 5.5% fat, 4% protein and averaging around 12l/day. All replacements are reared on the farm also and we keep the young stock on an outside block. They were getting 3kg of an 18% dairy nut.”

Breeding:”We did 12 weeks of strict AI. This consisted of dairy bulls for the first six weeks and dairy beef for the last six weeks. Angus bulls ran with the heifers to mop up also. We had an 11.5% empty rate. We milk the empties on and cull them before calving starts.”

I studied: ”Ag science in UCD and majored in forestry but I had no real grá for it. I went on to do a level seven professional diploma in dairy farm management in Moorepark and loved it. I was exposed to top-quality operators and, as a result, I will have invaluable mentors for the rest of my career in the dairy sector, they’re always just a phone call away.”

I won: “Grassland Student of the Year for 2021. It’s something I mightn’t have been capable of doing if I hadn’t completed the course in Moorepark. The practical element of it definitely stood to me. I think it’s reflective of the quality and structure of the course and the people involved in it.”

Politics: “My dad was always involved in politics but it was never something he expected any of us to do. I thought about it alright, but knew it wasn’t for me.”

Quotable quote: “The network and connections you make along the way in this industry are invaluable when it comes to sharing knowledge. They provide you with great advice and support when needed so it’s important to build and maintain these relationships.”