Colin Kenny, aged 27, hails from a strong agricultural background having been born and reared on a small suckler beef enterprise outside his native Athlone.
It is here the Kenny’s keep approximately 15-suckler cows, all of which are a mixture of Limousine and Simmental breeds and all spring calving Having studied in Pallaskenry Agricultural college, Colin decided to go on an adventure and depart his home farm and work in agriculture across the pond.
“I'm from a small farm in Athlone originally, consisting of 15 suckers cows which are a mixture of limousines and Simmentals, all which are all spring calved.”, he said.
“It was always my plan to get into farming, as I grew up helping out on the family farm. I really enjoy what I do and I decided to leave for the UK to work on a larger scale farm,”, he added.
It was approximately seven years ago that Colin began his journey, heading over to Cheltenham in the UK to work on a dairy farm.
“I moved to Cheltenham about seven years ago and started work on a dairy farm”, Colin added.
From here, he returned to his roots and took up a role on a Suckler, beef and tillage enterprise on the outskirts of Cheltenham in the UK. The farm consists of just over 500-acres of land, with about 500 head of cattle in total.
The farm currently has 70 Suckler cows, again Simmental and Limousin breeds. They also run a finishing unit on the farm, with calves bought in at a few weeks ago and brought all the way to slaughter at 18-months.
Not only this, but all crops grown on the farm holding are kept and turned to feed. This means the fleet of New Holland tractors on the farm is well-needed, with sugar beet, maize, oats, barley and wheat all grown for feed. The farm also runs a contracting business as well, meaning plenty of hours are put up on the fleet.
“All crops grown on the farm are kept for feeding. The crops include wheat, barley, maize, oats, sugar beet and grass”, Colin explained.
“The Farm also runs a contracting business as well,”, he continued.
Challenges In your area:
The main challenge Colin experiences in the UK would be the ongoing battle they have with pneumonia on the farm.
“The biggest challenge we have is pneumonia in young livestock. Although all animals are vaccinated, some still seem to contract it.", he said.
“Animals that do get it, are treated with antibiotics,”, he continued.
At the minute on the farm, things are just starting to pick up, along with the weather. This means efforts are now in place to get all stock out to grass, whilst also spraying crops.
“Cows and calves are being turned out at the moment. We are also currently busy spraying the crops, barley and wheat”, he noted.
“We are also preparing for the maize planting, which will start late this week too.”, he said.
POA for the future:
Although enjoying the experience in the UK, Colin hopes to one-day grace our shores once more. He says the idea would be to take over the home farm at some point, while he also harbours ambitions of setting up his own Simmental herd at some stage.
“I am hoping to return home to Athlone in the future and take over the home farm”, he explained to ThatsFarming.
“I also want to build up a pedigree Simmental herd too”, he added.
To put it simply, farming was always running through Colin’s veins. He lives, breathes and dreams of all-things agriculture orientated. He just enjoys the experience and watching his hard work make an impact on the farm.
“I just live for farming…I love it and I don't know anything else,”, he said.
“I love this time of year especially, turning out the cattle and watching the fields change colour.”, he stated.
You can take the man out of Athlone, but you can’t take the love of his country and agriculture away from the man that is Colin Kenny.
Are you working abroad on a farm like Colin? Fancy being featured? Drop us a line! Also, Don’t forget to check out Colin’s Snapchat takeover this Saturday at - thatsfarming on Snapchat.