RTÉ’s live award-winning farm show ‘Big Week on the Farm’ is back for a third series - and this time, the team is heading County Waterford! Ella McSweeney and Áine Lawlor, will present the show, LIVE from 7pm each night from a purpose-built studio on the fields of the O’Sullivan Family’s dairy farm, in the Deise County.
Early April, is one of the busiest times of the year for farmers, as the land welcomes new life once again. From April 9th, every evening at 7pm, Ella McSweeney, Áine Lawlor, and celebrity guest presenters, Deirdre O’Kane, Alison Spittle, Sean O’Brien and Lee Chin will descend on the O’Sullivan family’s dairy farm, amidst the chaos of spring calving and milking.
The Big Week on the Farm studio will play host to a 150-strong live studio audience, in a field overlooking Dungarvan Bay where the cattle of Gillian and Neil O’Sullivan usually graze. Gillian and Neil and their children Fionn (6), Hannah (4) and Tim (2), are the host farmers this year. The family have been farming for generations and Gillian’s father and mother Marianne & Michael Wall are still heavily involved in the farm.
The O’Sullivan farm and surrounding area is home to a vast array of wildlife. From the adjacent woodland which is alive with squirrels, pine martens and woodland birds to the coastal spoonbills who dig into the sand with their bills and push the mud through their spoon-shaped bills and curlews, oystercatchers, gulls, Brent geese and peregrine falcons to the otters who occupy the rivers and coastal waters, with the help of animal behaviour experts, hidden cameras and drones, the O’Sullivan family will learn about the covert lives of some of Ireland’s most fascinating wild animals.
In the unique and beautifully filmed footage, Big Week on the Farm will look at the secret lives of farm animals, as they peer inside the world of the misunderstood crow and witness one of the cleverest of the species. Featured in this year's series for the first time will be a look into the secret life of the Vet. A vet will be followed as he attempts to deliver a calf by Caesarian section – can he preserve the life of both cow and calf as we witness the arrival of new life? Also, he takes us through a seemingly routine hernia removal but as with all procedures potentially fatal danger is never far away.
Meanwhile, location presenters Darragh McCullough and Helen Carroll will be broadcasting live from ten different farms across the country; two different farms a night! They’ll witness the makeover of a cow as it is prepared for a live sale at an evening mart, the difficulties of being the only producer based on an island, the girls school which is rearing Aberdeen Angus Cows and a world record attempt to gather the largest collection of Massey Ferguson tractors in one place to name a few. Big Week on the Farm will also explore new technologies in farming, as researchers from around the world uncover how the farm of the future may be inhabited by a selection of robots and artificial intelligence.
Guinness World Records
Following from the huge success of previous year’s sheep shearing Guinness World Record with Ivan Scott, and the World Tractor reversing record which is currently held by last year’s host farmer Patrick Shalvey this year, the Big Week on the Farm team will be hoping to break more Guinness World Records, while our celebrity guests aim to beat actor, musician and comedian Pat Shortt’s current hand milking record in ‘Pull the Udder One’ after his huge success in the milking challenge last year.
Each night, on Big Week on the Farm, Ella, Áine and celebrity guests will present live studio demos, discussions, dissections, hatchings and births. From calving to lambing and laying, Big Week on the Farm provides the nation with real-time access to the incredible lives of Ireland’s farm animals and farmers. Join in as the drama unfolds every night, April 9th-13th, from 7 pm on RTÉ One.