I farm: “300 acres in partnership with my father Raymond and uncle Gilbert. We run a suckler herd of 125 cows split between spring- and autumn-calving. The majority of progeny are finished on the farm as well as running a sizable dairy calf-to-beef enterprise.”
Irish record: “Our 39-year-old pony Horatio is, we believe, the oldest in the country. We knew a few years ago he must be close to being the oldest pony.
A quick Google search found one that had lived to 38 in Wexford back in 2007 so we knew what Horatio had to beat it.
He is a Dartmoor pony, born in 1984 in England, he had competed in show jumping over there before we bought him as a 14-year-old in 1998. He was purchased for my sister Cheryl who was into show jumping at the time.
“We have to feed him twice a day at this stage with a special feed mix and his sight is quite poor but he has a great life and is a real family pet.”
BETTER Farm Programme: “Our farm joined the BETTER Farm Programme in 2017. The main thing that the programme has done is made us focus on performance.
"We moved to more AI usage, which improved the quality of stock. We tightened up the calving pattern, introduced a rotational grazing system and started measuring grass.
"The practices that were put in place back then have served the farm well and financially it is in a much better place today.”
Future of beef farming: “This has been a difficult year and it has been a case of keeping your head down and cutting out whatever costs you can, but most importantly continuing to try to improve the quality of the stock you produce.
"I enjoy the breeding side of the business and seeing the results from the decisions we make each year. I would have contemplated the switch to dairy but it would mean a massive change in every aspect of the business.”
Quotable quote: “You need to love what you do every day to make it work – beef farming offers me that.”