It is not unusual in rural Ireland, to find a surname that is so common, that nicknames are applied to people in order to distinguish them from another family of the same last name. This was as a result of large families and people staying in the place they love, the place where they were born.
Such is the popularity of the last name ‘Power’ in Co. Waterford, ‘Murphy’ in Co. Roscommon or even ‘Doherty’ in Co. Donegal, that our contractor of the week - Matthew Davenport-Doherty - is better known as Matthew Goose to all his neighbours and friends.
This nickname started many generations ago as his ancestral family were geese traders.
Matthew’s parents - Michael and Geraldine - own a smallholding in the Glentogher area of Co.Donegal, where he and his younger brother would help out, working on the family suckler farm.
As a young teenager, Matthew knew that he enjoyed farming and that contracting would be his chosen area.
After completing the Leaving Cert, he got accepted into agricultural college in Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan and spent a-year-and-a-half completing a Level 5 and Level 6 Certificate in Agriculture.
After graduating, the then twenty-year-old began driving for other contractors and he travelled to the UK to spend ten weeks harvesting crop in Essex for Robert McGowan Ltd.
It was here that Matthew decided that he would be able to start his company M. Goose Ltd, upon his return.
M.Goose Agri Contractors
The first purchases that the young entrepreneur made were a Redrock Mega Flow slurry pump and a 2250 NC tanker. These were bought in October, but he had to wait until February to use the machinery.
Unfortunately, Matthew was instantly met with an obstacle as the tanker was a top-fill model and that required a second person to help with the job.
He did find help, but it wouldn’t have worked out in the long term, so that particular tank was left aside in favour of the family’s Star 1100-gallon tanker with his father’s SAME Explorer.
Matthew is currently in his second year in business, but he has already added to his machinery collection with a 302 KUHN conditioner mower. It completed its first season with M. Goose Agri last summer.
A 220 Welger Profi was then added to the collection, and finally, Matthew is now the proud owner of an 8560 New Holland Tractor that he loves to drive.
As a new contractor, it can be difficult to attract new customers and progress may be slow but like many contractors before him, it can often be a case of doing one farm this year and come back next year for two.
This would be the biggest difficulty for Matthew at the moment, “I’ll get there somehow,” said the determined twenty-two-year-old.
Matthew has baled straw as well as silage and enjoys providing a good service to his customers in the Inisowen area.
The talented farmer also provides grassland topping services, ploughing, slurry haulage and anything else that you could possibly pitch at him, he is willing to do his best and will stop at nothing to achieve it.
A hard worker, the Donegal man doesn’t mind missing out on a social life during the busier periods stating, “If there’s work to be done, I don’t mind doing it.” It is this attitude to a work/life balance that allowed this young man to pave the way to success.
Although he does enjoy helping out on the home farm, machinery is what Matthew likes the best, sitting in front of the mower, preparing for baling.
“The whole year is just building up to the cutting” said Matthew “I like it because my year was building up to this” he added.
Speaking of his future as a contractor, he is quite happy where he is at the moment, just concentrating on gaining a new customer base; however, that doesn’t mean that he won’t be adding new machinery and hiring people in the future.
“As it’s only my second year doing it, I have to work with what I have at the moment”, he said, “but this is definitely what I want to do” and with that, he pledges to expand to bigger and greater things.
Image Source: Goose Agri Contractors \ Facebook