I farm: “150 Lanark and Mayo cross ewes on 70ac in partnership with my father Michael. Our land is a mix of hill and lowland and the edge of it would be commonage, with 40ac rented in Westport.”

Marie syas she would farm full time if she could and has always wanted to be a farmer. \ Michael Mc Laughlin

Mayo Mule: “We breed the Mayo Mule ewe lambs by putting a Blue Leicester ram to the ewes and then we run a Lanark ram to breed our own replacements. The ewes lamb in the shed from 1 March and we aim to get them out after a night to two nights, depending on the weather. We also put a Suffolk to a few crossbred ewes we lamb in February. The Mules are serious mothers with loads of milk and have no issue lambing. You get a lot of couples and triplets with them. I like to have them that little bit blacker with a white speckle and the tighter wool. They come that way off a Lanark ewe.”

Mart: “We keep all the Mule ewe lambs and will look to sell them at the Mayo Mule and Greyface Group premier sale on Saturday, 20 August at Aurivo Marts, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo. We were out in the mart last week with the first of the Mule ram lambs and a few Suffolks, a week earlier than 2021. We usually finish for Kildare Chilling but the prices are so good in the mart, I chanced them there and they’ve gone well. The 10 lambs averaged 33kg and made €116.”

Marie says the mart trade for lambs is going well. \ Michael Mc Laughlin

Women: “It’s great that there’s more women in farming these days, in particular in sheep and beef farming. It’s nice going to the mart now and you see more women there doing the buying and selling.”

Marie with the Blackface type ewe used to breed her Mayo Mule ewe lambs. \ Michael Mc Laughlin

Part-time: “I also work off farm at a pharmaceutical company. Ever since I was really small, I wanted to farm and if I could and there was enough in it, I would do it full-time.”