A love of the land has always run deep in the veins of 18-year-old Olivia Grant.
The Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary native hails from a family where farming is a major long-standing tradition spanning five generations.
There are currently three generations working on the beef enterprise: Olivia, her father, Kenneth, grandfather, Dick, and younger brother, Alastair.
Her mother, Gillian, and younger sister, Alison, also give a helping hand when required.
The Grants keep a large variety of breeds including Charolais and Limousins, but they also purchase Belgian Blues, Angus, Herefords, British Friesians, Simmentals, Aubracs and Shorthorns.
At peak time, the family could have in the region of 700-800 stock on their enterprise, however, numbers fluctuate, as cattle are purchased and slaughtered regularly.
In spring, they purchase 350+ stores in local marts, while in summer, autumn, and winter, cattle in the 450kg plus weight bracket are bought.
“All cattle on our farm are fattened and are mainly grass-fed. All cattle are finished in sheds before slaughter,” she explained to Catherina Cunnane, editor of That’s Farming.
In winter, fatteners are fed a mix of barley, maize meal, soya hulls, maze distillers, bread, straw, general farm minerals, while store cattle’s diet consists of barley, maize meal, soya hulls, maize distillers, bread, straw, minerals and silage.
“Spring barley is grown on the farm - the barley produced is used for feeding and the straw produced is used for both bedding cattle and feeding. “
“For me, the most enjoyable aspect of farming is the fact that I get to work with family as I think we make a pretty good team.”
“I found trying to balance farming and sixth-year challenging because I needed to study and complete schoolwork.”
“There was often the temptation to go outside and work on the farm which I’m sure many students who live on a farm can relate to,” she added.
The 18-year-old is also the face behind the popular Tiktok account, @grantxolivia.
She describes the nature of her content as mainly agriculture- related with a comedic aspect with a view to being relatable to young farmers.
As of late, the Tipperary native has been sharing more clips of on-farm activities such as s first-cut silage which was harvested recently.
“I try to stick to regular posts, two or three-times-a-week. Believe it or not, my most successful video to date is not farming-related, which is surprising considering I have very few videos that aren’t farming-related.”
“The video was actually about comedy duo, The 2 Johnnies, and received over 13,000 hits.”
“It can be a struggle to come up with new content ideas as I like to try and keep my content fresh and original but also like to keep up-to-date with the Tiktok trends, sometimes giving them an agri twist.”
Olivia has grown her account over the past year by continuing to post regularly. “I am posting content which hopefully people find relatable and enjoy watching as I enjoy making it."
Women in ag
Grant is of the opinion that social media is powerful in highlighting the role of women in agriculture. “There are many incredible women in ag sharing their journey on the likes of Instagram.”
“For the most part, I am treated the same as my male counterparts. I do think women in agriculture are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve.”
“People like Anna Truesdale and Louise Crowley have really put women in ag on the map and continue to inspire me and many other young women to pursue a career in agriculture.”
“I think women should consider a career in agriculture as you are always learning, no two days are the same - especially when working on a farm which keeps the job interesting.”
Looking forward to the future, Olivia, who has just finished her second-level studies, has her sights set on a career in the agri-business field.
She intends to study this discipline at third-level, if she secures sufficient CAO points.
“The advice I’d give to younger people who are considering a career in agriculture is to stay learning and aiming towards your goal, don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help as that shows that you are interested and eager to learn.”
“I am always learning something new and expanding my knowledge in agriculture,” Grant concluded.
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