Head Space with Winter Winding Down

January and February are the months where the farming new year kicks off.  The majority of beef sheep & dairy farms in the area will be preparing for and welcoming new born calves and lambs. Farming by its nature is cyclical & works with the seasons.  After the weather of the past months this new lease of life and activity will be very welcomed on most farms.   

We are lucky in the Athenry area, as we do not suffer anyway as severely as the flooded areas of south Galway. The devastation of homes and farmlands in the hinterland of Gort puts everything into perspective. 

Farming at times can be a difficult vocation, no more so in winter when the weather is against you. However the spring days come followed by the long warm summers evening which can make farming the best job in the world.

Here on the farm we are still in planning mode, just processing our weekly batch of chickens for the markets & our chefs.  January is probably the best month to be a turkey farmer, plenty of head space!
Our cattle, out wintered on kale, not just a superfood for humans.

Unfortunately the biggest news on the farming front has been the ructions in the Irish Farmers Association, it dominated the national headlines prior to Christmas. 

However there maybe light at the end of the tunnel, with Athnery dairy farmer Joe Healy one of the 3 candidates in the race for the vacant role of IFA president.  Joe‘s fresh voice and outlook could be exactly what the IFA needs.  He has proven his stature as a farm leader by regularly representing farmer’s views in roles at both national & EU level.  No more so during his term as Macra na Feirme president.

He is a strong voice for beef & sheep farmers through his weekly column in the Irish Farming Independent.  Farm commodity prices are on the slide, a strong relevant farmers representative body is needed & Joe Healy could well be the man to deliver that strong voice.  Big ships turn slowly, but they can sink quickly if not fixed fast.