This is farming

It’s the alarm going off on dark winter mornings

Coats, boots and hats are pulled on like armour to face the day

The glow of the tractor beam lights the way to the shed where cattle wait to be fed.

It’s rough hands exchanging money around a ring

Fingers fly, twist and turn, as farmers and auctioneers battle over a bid

Old rivals eye each other with care until laughter fights off the bitter cold winter air.

It’s a new spring, marked by sleepless nights

The cold grip of exhaustion slowly takes hold

But the weak calf finally latches on and the cock crows for victory as the fight for life looks like it has been won.

It's the smell of earth, broken by the plough,

As dust rises ... barley, oats and wheat are nurtured from field and furrow,

And the dead heat of a summer night is lit by the combine light.

Where forking silage, lambing ewes, sheering sheep, milking cows, chopping beet, sowing oats, fattening pigs, collecting eggs and the heavy tug of mud worn boots ...

As days stretch and the sweet smell of freshly cut hay bakes in the sun

The long days and short nights are greeted with a smile

Then puddles become a playground, as small fingers take your hand

The same fingers that will grow up, take on the land.

This is farming.

By Hannah Quinn Mulligan \ Irish Farmers Journal

Narrated by Andy Doyle