Tom Tynan is 26-years of age, but with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders for five years now.
Back in 2012, Tom took over the running of the family farm, in Muckalee Co. Kilkenny. Here the second-generation dairy farmer, now runs the farm as a beef operation, following the tragic passing of his father. He, as he admits, has been farming since he was able to walk, though he is not just a farmer.
Tom also works as an AI technician for Dovea genetics as well as some side-casual work and some relief milking for other farmers. The family had always being a dairy farm, though they stopped milking due to his father’s health problems.
“It was originally a dairy farm, but my father seized milking due to health issues.” said Tom.
“I was young enough at the time, I suppose I was about 14/15 and still in school. We had a small herd of cows. we had sucklers for a while then got out of them and had drystock for a few years” he added.
Return to Dairy:
The family finished most of the dry stock on the farm at the time, but the call for milking became too strong for Tom. He developed a passion for it, through working as a relief milker for local dairy farms. He then took the leap and decided to revert the farm back to dairying.
“After milking for a few lads and working on a few farms, I decided I liked milking cows and I'd get the old parlour going” he said.
“I was lucky it wasn't knocked, so with most facilities in place including a cubicle shed/roadways” he adds.
He then started milking again in Spring 2016, with 25 heifers and 20 cows at first. He bought cows alongside heifers, as he was training in the heifers. This was due to him not having as much help as he may need, especially for calving.
Tom says this will be the limit to the herd size for the moment, as all thr surrounding land is actively farmed. All cows on his farm are Holstein/Friesians and Tom couldn’t be happier with them. All bull calves and beef calves on the farm are sold off.
He said the system he runs is a simple one, though mentioned his girlfriend and sister as being of great help when needed. He said both can milk, which comes in handy when he’s had a few too many on a Saturday night.
Education and Organisations:
Tom did not take the leap, without having studied first. He completed a part-time course in Kildalton Agricultural college. He is also the member of many organisations, such is his interest in the industry.
He is currently a member of his local Macra club, involved with many discussion groups on social media, an IFA member and a member of the ICSA. The main discussion group he is involved with is the green-acres discussion group.
Advice and plans.:
When asked if he had advice to give to others looking to follow his lead, Tom had plenty to offer.
“Keep confidence and believe in yourself and don't be afraid to ask questions,” he said.
“Surround yourself with positive people, as negative people will only hold you back” said Tom.
He also strongly advised to become part of discussion groups and says to watch your own farm and worry about it and not your neighbours. He said not to rush any decisions and carefully plan everything.
“Don't mind what the neighbours are doing or what they think of you, worry about your own business not anyone else's. Don't rush things and learn from your mistakes” he advised.
“Nothing makes you learn from your mistakes quicker, than when they start costing you money" he laughed.
As for the future, Tom wants to continue making his father proud. He hopes in the short term to improve the herd through genetics and grassland management practices. He says he will begin this Spring by grass measuring, while in the long term he hopes to achieve a pedigree herd status and maybe even buy a bit of land all going well.
He lists his return to dairy as his biggest achievement so far and he is without doubt making his father proud. Returning a farm to dairy at the age of 24 is no mean feat, but Tom took to it like a duck to water.