Situated in the heart of Co. Monaghan, the Greenan’s family farm has grown steadily over the years and now spans five generations.
Danielle’s great-great-grandfather began the tradition by purchasing a plot of land which was passed onto her great-grandfather who expanded the farm further.
Her grandfather then took the reins of the enterprise and purchased additional acreage, before her father inherited the enterprise which he expanded.
The family converted from dairy to beef rearing and fattening in 2005 before switching to suckling in 2009; they established a herd of pedigree Stabiliser cattle.
The father-and-daughter-duo maintain a closed herd, having bred their previous two stock bulls. They sell pedigree bulls for breeding purposes and slaughter inferior-types.
Up until now, the family have focused on producing replacement heifers with strong maternal traits, but they are now changing their breeding strategy and are in a position to offer surplus breeding females for sale.
“We have selected the breed for their ease-of-calving and their rapid growth rates,” Danielle told Catherina Cunnane – That’s Farming.
“Docility is one of their many traits which make Stabilisers lovely to work with.”
“Our current stock bull is more a terminal-type and is, therefore, producing progeny with better conformation, which is an advantage at weaning and when finishing.”
“We are delighted with the current crop of calves – most of which are U grade type cattle,” Danielle added.
As both Danielle and her father work full-time off-farm, the responsibility of feeding stock falls to Danielle approximately three evenings per week.
“Along with feeding, I also help with testing, dosing and weighing – we try to weigh our cattle every six-weeks from July onwards to monitor their performance.”
“I love to see the young calves get to grass in the springtime and there’s nothing better than walking through the herd when they’re grazing on a nice summer’s evening.”
Danielle is completing a degree in Sustainable Agriculture while farming and working for Glanbia in their Monaghan UHT plant.
During her second-level education, the fifth-generation demonstrated an admirable interest in agriculture; she worked in her local livestock mart on a weekly basis as well as a relief milker for local farmers.
“When I left school, I knew that my passion for farming would determine my area of study.” she admitted.
Danielle completed a Green Cert at Ballyhaise Agricultural College in Co. Cavan in 2014 before studying a level-6 in agricultural-science between DkIT and Ballyhaise.“During my first year, I represented Ballyhaise and Ireland in the Salon International de l'Agriculture show in Paris where I had to judge both beef and dairy stock.”
“This was truly an eye-opening experience as I learnt about agriculture as a whole across Europe.”
Following the completion of this course, Danielle worked in a veterinary clinic for almost three-years where she gained a greater understanding of animal health and welfare.
“I also completed an animal remedies course while working there which gave me a real insight into antibiotic resistance and the importance of vaccinations.”
She then undertook a level-7 Diploma in Food and Supply Chain Management last year before enrolling in her current course.
“College-wise my highlight had to be the Green Cert - the full-time course really incorporates practical training."
“Students can learn skills that may not necessarily be available on their home farms,” she added.
“It’s very important that we continue to thrive and come together to ensure a viable future.”
“It does your heart good to see what was a male-dominated sector, becoming so diverse, with more women becoming involved at farm and industry-level as time progresses.” the Monaghan native concluded.
If you are a woman in agriculture and you want to share your story, email – firstname.lastname@example.org – with a short bio.