I farm: “Forty-two acres on the home block and I rent 14ac. I’ve been farming since I left school at 16 and run a dairy farm. My nephew, James, and niece, Suzanne, are next door and they are great to give me a hand on the farm as well.”

Cows: “I have 20 British Friesian? cows, I prefer them over the Holsteins because if something goes wrong with the Holsteins it knocks a lot out of them and you get a better calf out of the British Friesian.”

Milking machine: “I have the old type of bucket plant. I’d say there aren’t many of them left. It takes about two hours to do all the milking and cleaning. When I left school and I was younger, I didn’t think anything of the work and now I feel I’ve gone a bit old to change things. It’s a simple system and it works for me.”

Changes: “I’ve seen some big changes over the last 50 years. There were a lot more people milking back then but the numbers are getting smaller now all the time.”

Milk price: “Kerry collects the milk every two days and I’m very happy with the price I’m getting, which is about 38c/l.”

Mike with his nephew James Malone and his niece Suzanne Malone on his farm at Honeypound, Croom, Co Limerick. \ Donal O'Leary

System: ”I run a Hereford bull with the cows and keep the calves and rear them before selling them as stores.”

Weather: “It’s been a great year for the hay and the silage and I was lucky some rain came a few weeks ago. I have just enough grass.”

Retiring: “I’m 68 now and plan to keep going with the milking for a while longer, but I’ve started a small herd of pedigree Hereford cattle and I’ll gradually build it up as I take a step back from the milking. They’re nice, quiet cattle and it’s easy to fatten them up.”

Climate: “I’m a bit worried about the climate bill and the impact it could have on farmers, especially if it tells them that the herds need to be cut.”

Quotable quote: “If any young lad wanted to get into farming, I’d tell them to stick with the dairy.”