I farm: “Thirty-five acres with my father, John, in Smithstown, just outside Maynooth. We are fourth-generation dairy farmers, all spring milking.”

Our herd: “We set up our Shorthorn herd in 2016, switching from Holstein Friesians. I calved my first set of pedigree Shorthorn heifers in 2017, the spring before my Leaving Cert. We decided to focus on dairy Shorthorns because of their lower somatic cell count, and improved longevity in comparison to Holstein Friesians.”

At the moment: “Breeding season has just ended. Summers are a lot quieter now with no agricultural shows due to COVID-19 – other years we would be in the middle of show season. Every summer, we usually get to 10 shows, finishing with the National Dairy Show in Millstreet, Co Cork, in October.”

Hannah with her Shorthorn herd. \ Claire Nash

Summer shows: “We are definitely missing the social side of the shows. We have had calves from the beginning of the first lockdown that we had planned to show but they have now missed two years of shows and potential awards.”

Potential sales: “We have been focusing on private sales so far, as we are still very much in the process of building up our herd. Having no shows has definitely hindered this, as we rely on them for advertisement for our herd.”

Interest in shows: “I always wanted to see my own cattle in the ring after I showed a calf for my uncle when I was 12. Since then, I have been an active member of the young members’ association of the IHFA, where I am currently the PRO of the national committee.”#

Breeding season has just finished for Hannah and her father John. \ Claire Nash

In the future: “My main aim is to expand the herd further. I have just finished my four-year degree in animal science in UCD and I am looking forward to putting what I’ve learnt into practice on our home farm.”

Quotable quote: “I’d highly recommend getting involved in young members’ clubs of breed societies. It’s a great way to both broaden your knowledge and meet like-minded people.”