John Doyle’s experience in agriculture goes back to his early years, having been born and raised on a sheep and cattle enterprise in Wexford country.
Hailing from Courtown in the Model county that is Wexford, the Doyle’s farm just over 100-acres in the area, keeping both cattle and sheep. The farming experience spans back centuries, with John admitting he is unsure as to what generation farmer he is, such is the family’s experience within the industry.
The family have always kept dry stock, sucklers, cull cows and sheep, with John’s father Martin working as an agent for Slaney meats, as well as dealing cattle himself.
“We always had dry stock. We had sucklers and sheep. My father used to be an agent for Slaney meats for years and years. He used to buy a lot of sheep for Slaney,”, said John.
“I grew up helping in the sheep lorry,”, he added.
The family farm is still in operation to this day and the family keep approximately 120-130-cattle at the moment. The family, although involved in agriculture for centuries, have only based in Courtown for just over 30 years.
“I run with about 120-130 cattle the whole time. I would be buying in and selling out of that as well,”, John noted.
“I buy anything in, such as Cull cows and Friesians, but I usually buy a lot of Charolais and Limousine heifers and bullocks. We run a lot of weanlings and that type of cattle…This year though I have bought a lot of Sucklers to graze. I could buy anything!”, John laughed.
Farming operations are now run entirely by John himself, with the family helping out, after the tragic passing of his father Michael seven years ago. Cull cows are fattened on the farm and subsequently sent to the factory, while heifers and bullocks are fattened for resale at marts, such as his local Carnew mart.
How it all began -
It all ultimately began with the tragic passing of John’s father, Martin. Having always helped his father when on the road, John admits to having been bitten by the haulage bug as a child, something which influenced his decision to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Although always the dream to get behind the wheel of the truck like his father, John decided to first continue his education. He set off to UCD, where he completed the Level 8 Animal & Crop Production degree. From here, John went onto complete a Masters degree in Animal Reproduction, whilst running the farm at home at the same time.
“I did all the farming work when I was in college, though we had the help of our neighbours and my mother lending a hand,”, John explained.
“With my father being a cattle agent when I was growing up, he always had a lorry. I grew up in a lorry and around the marts. My father used to be in the mart everyday buying sheep and me with him…My father got sick and died when I was twenty when I was in second year in UCD,”, John said.
He says that although he had gone to college and even went as far as studying a Masters degree, the open road was always calling him to return.
John didn’t make the trip back home straight after the completion of his college studies either, first taking in a trip to the USA, where he worked on the harvest trail. This is what enabled him to tone up his driving skills, as he was afforded more driving opportunities and in turn, enabled him to confidently return home and begin his career on the Irish roads. It was then John went for and successfully obtained his artic licence, setting him on his way to begin his new haulage career.
“I left college in 2014 and in 2015 I went to America and completed the harvest over there. That is how I got the majority of my experience driving artics...It was when I came back from America, that I went hell-for-leather into cattle dealing and buying sheep, finishing store lambs. I was always in the marts with a jeep and trailer, doing a bit of hauling and working away. It is only since Christmas that I got the opportunity to buy this lorry,”, he added.
This is where the journey truly began for John and when he took his first steps into following the path set by his father.
“I jumped at the chance (to buy the lorry). The man that sold me the lorry, Frank Cullen, is a factory agent for Kepak and I carry out all his haulage for him and all my own work too,”, he said.
This means that the majority of John’s time is juggled between Marts, contact driving and on the home farm and he couldn’t be happier.
“I am buying cattle every week,”, he said.
John’s duties can take him all across the country, as he does all the driving himself at the moment. He says if the work is there, he will travel, whether it is bringing cattle to the factory or to and from marts.
“I am a one-man band…We would go nationwide. Wherever anyone wants me to go, I will go,”, John laughed.
The truck in question was only purchased a few years ago from a local man by the name of Frank Cullen. John says he may not have got to where he is today in the industry, were it not for the opportunity afforded to him to buy the lorry. He also spoke to thank Frank for the help he has provided him, as well as the steady stream of haulage work since the foundation of his haulage enterprise.
“He gave me the opportunity to buy the lorry from him and he also gave me a lot of haulage work with it too. I cannot thank him enough,”, John said.
Make - Mercedes
Model - Axor 1840
Year - 2006
BHP - 400
Hopes and dreams for the future -
Always looking to learn and develop his business, John hopes to continue the work he is carrying out at the moment, with the hopes of learning as much as he can from his current employer Frank. This is done with the hopes to someday return to agency work, fully following in his father’s footsteps.
“I am hoping to get back into the agency work. The dream would be to eventually have my own agency and source cattle myself for the factory,”, John explained.
This though, he admits, may not happen in the near future, though one can always dare to dream. On the farm side of things, John aims to increase cattle numbers over the coming years, while still keeping some sheep.
“I will look to also increase cattle numbers over the next few years as well,”, John noted.
“It will be mainly cattle, but I will still always have 100-200 lambs knocking around.”, he added.
Why he loves what he does -
There are a number of contributing factors which keep this UCD graduate behind the wheel of his beloved truck, the main one being family pride.
To put it simply, haulage and agriculture is all John has ever known and wants to know, meaning he does what he does, with a smile on his face.
“When you are born into being on the road a lot, like myself, it is sort of an addiction that is hard to get away from,”, John joked.
“If I was to stay at home and farm for two or three days I would get Cabin fever.”, he added.
These reasons, tied in with being his own boss and meeting new people from all farming backgrounds, are what keeps John behind the wheel and keeps the wheels turning. He noted the satisfaction in knowing that no two days will ever be the same as another factor.
“Its just everything that comes with it. You are getting around more, coming across cattle to buy and you don’t know what you will come across on any given day…Variety is the spice of life as they say”, he noted.
A hard-working young man striving to do his father proud, John Doyle may only be officially in the haulage industry for a short period of time, though in reality, his heart was taken by the industry and trucks, many moons ago.
Would you like to contact John or inquire about haulage services? You can do so on 085-1274725 or via Instagram here.