Family farm: “I am farming at home alongside my father and brother. We are milking a crossbred herd of British Friesian and Norwegian red cows. They are low maintenance and high yielding. We use sexed semen to breed our replacements and run a calf to beef system. ”

Placement: “I am doing my placement on Tom and David Fennelly’s farm near Emo, Co Laois. They are part of the Teagasc and Tirlán future farm programme.”

Cows: “They have a spring calving herd of 350 Holstein Friesian cows, sexed semen is used. They used sexed semen and a fixed time AI system to breed replacements from the heifers.”

Calving: “Started in mid-January, it’s a compact system over 74% of the herd calved.”

Grazing: “There are good roadways and dry ground on the farm so cows have been out most days and nights since the end of January using on- off grazing, 27% of the farm has been grazed so far.”

College: “I’m in the second year of my level seven agricultural degree in South East Technological University, Waterford. Classes are based out in Kildalton and we have at least one practical class each day. We are now on 12 weeks of placement, it can be on any type of farm.”

Learning: “I picked the Fennellys’ dairy farm as they have good infrastructure and I felt I would receive a good learning experience on the farm. My third year will be based in Waterford and I will stay on to do an extra year for a level eight on land management.”

Future plans: “I work part time in my local Tirlán co-op and I hope to stay on after my degree. I would possibly like to go to America or New Zealand to see the scale of dairy farming out there and learn more.”