Family Farm

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Developed by

Dublin ZooAgri Aware

Hi, I’m Steph and I am a Young Farmer on the Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo this year.

I grew up on a tillage, beef and sheep farm in County Cavan. We breed Aberdeen Angus X Charolais cattle. The Angus cattle are easy calvers and produce lean meat, while the Charolais breed have a high feed conversion ratio, making their calves excellent for beef production. Our breeds of sheep include Suffolk, Hampshire and Cheviot. We also produce porridge oats for Flahavan’s.

I am currently in my second year studying Naturopathic Nutrition in The College of Naturopathic Nutrition within Griffith College. I hope to further my studies and complete a masters in nutrition with the aspiration to become a nutritional therapist, advocating locally produced, natural whole foods and meats as a basis for a healthy diet. I applied for the position of Young Farmer at Agri Aware as I have great interest and pride in our Irish farming and agri-food industries. Having the opportunity to convey the importance of this industry and the benefits of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to the general public, through Agri Aware’s Family Farm, is something that I am greatly looking forward to.

Hi, my name is Éadaoin and I’m a Young Farmer at Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo. I am originally from County Carlow. I am currently in my third year studying Veterinary Medicine in Warsaw, Poland. My course modules include veterinary economics and animal science, which has taught me a lot about the economics involved in farming and the differences and important aspects of a variety of breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry. Throughout my course I have visited many farms, offering hands-on experience and training with animals, mainly dairy, learning about their anatomy and how to care for them. My course has given me a good insight into the daily life of the farmer, their relationship with veterinarians and how they care for every individual animal and some of the difficulties they may face.

Prior to my studies in Poland, I spent a year in UCD studying agricultural science with the intention of majoring in animal science. Any spare time I have at home from college in Carlow, I spend shadowing my farmer neighbour, learning as much as possible from him. I have also worked with my local vet, travelling to farms with them. We sometimes even get the odd sheep, calve or pig brought to the clinic! Growing up, I used to spend my days around my uncle’s farm, where I also went horse riding, which I still do today. I decided to apply for the position of Young Farmer at Agri Aware because the chance to inform the general public about the importance of the CAP in providing us with safe, traceable, affordable food, is something that I feel is very important and I am excited to fulfil my role and educate the public in the weeks to follow.

This summer on the Family Farm we intend to enhance the image and understanding of agriculture and farming in Ireland. We aim to do this through our ‘Meet the Farmer in the City’ initiative, on the back of Agri Aware’s fourth consecutive successful EU CAP communication campaign entitled ‘Farm to Fork, CAPtured for over 50 years’, where face-to-face communication is our number one priority.

Each weekend, we will host different farmers on the Family Farm between 12-4pm, where they will carry out engaging tours of the farm, extend their vast knowledge to the public and welcome any questions visitors to the farm may have on agriculture, farming and CAP in Ireland. There will also be many ongoing activities at Family Farm such as milking demonstrations, butter churning and farm trails, along with other educational games, which help to educate children about where our food comes from.

As Young Farmers, it is our role to engage with the public and further their understanding of the use of CAP in providing quality, safe, traceable food at affordable prices while maintaining our beautiful landscape. During weekends at Family Farm we will be carrying out farm tours, pond dipping, grass seed sowing, farm trails and many more fun activities. Through these interactive activities, we hope to increase the public’s knowledge of agriculture in Ireland and further emphasise the importance of CAP.

Did you know that since CAP was introduced in 1962, the average annual consumer spend on food has halved; falling from 30% to just under 15%? During the coming months we will also be carrying out a Take Over Tuesday and Take Over Thursday on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where we will be informing the public of agriculture and CAP related facts. Through all these activities we aim to highlight the position of the farmer in today’s society and how CAP has impacted on this.

Who do we need three times a day, every day? Find out each and every weekend at Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo, until the end of September 2016!

We hope to see you there,

Stephanie and Éadaoin.