Well-known dairy farmers Peter and Paula Hynes from Co. Cork are amongst those that will address crowds at FARMEX - The Business of Farming next week.
The husband and wife duo along with their three young daughters - Chloe; Becky and Georgie - run a 180-cow herd across 270-acres in Aherla, Co. Cork.
Following the establishment of the farm in 2010, Peter went to Agricultural college at the age of 36 to enhance his knowledge of the sector.
Paula began working on the farm in 2014, following the completion of a milking course with FRS, having previously worked in the retail sector.
They began milking 50 cows under the ‘Rathard’ Holstein prefix and pumped a respectable sum - €500,000 - into new facilities.
To bring their enterprise to greater heights, the award-winning farmers placed an emphasis on growth and efficiency particularly the maximisation of resources and working smarter.
Women in Ag
At FARMEX, Paula will speak about her life as a wife; mother-of-three; a full-time farmer and as a woman in agriculture.
She will feature as part of the 12pm Family Farm Business Seminar along with Tom Ryan - former Teagasc specialist; Pat Smith - CEO of Local Power; Alan Jagoe - former Macra President and Darragh McCulloch - Agri Journalist.
Paula will reveal how she is encouraging her three daughters to farm and she will also reflect on her experience of ‘The Hardest Harvest’ in Kenya.
The Cork native left her state-of-the-art milking parlour behind for East Africa, over 7,000km from her home soil to live amongst a remote Massai tribe.
The one-hour documentary which was aired on RTÉ in May-2018 highlighted how an Irish woman can live in a harsh environment in Sub-Saharan Africa by going back to the basics - farming the land by utilising basic tools and cultivation methods.
“It was a huge challenge, taking a full-time labour unit out of the farm for weeks; Pete and I had never been apart in 24-years and Georgie and I had never really been apart much before either,” Paula explained.
Paula will compare the differences between life as a woman in Ireland with that of her experience in Kenya at the upcoming agri conference.
Peter Hynes will share his story as part of FARMEX’s 12:30 pm Profitable Milk Production seminar.
The Dairygold milk producer will tell attendees about his progression into the sector - education; learning a new skill-set; expanding the herd and using technology to reduce labour.
He will also discuss how the farm’s improvements in the area of genetics and grassland have improved performance.
Peter is also a positive mental health advocate and one of the main ambassadors of the Tackle Your Feeling campaign, which strives to inspire more people to be more proactive when it comes to utilising well-being strategies.
The mental well-being campaign that is being run by Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich Insurance.
“It is fantastic to be in a position to bring this campaign to the farming sector; the mental well-being of farmers is something that really needs to be prioritised. Peter said.
“Having shared my own struggles from the past, I feel I can relate to farmers and people under pressure, we get so many messages from all over the world from farmers who are having tough times,” Peter explained.
In addition to this major milestone, the Hynes family have also raised over €20,000 for well-known charities including Embrace FARM; Breast Cancer Ireland and AWARE and in the process of raising additional funds for the Maasai community.
FARMEX - the business of farming - is a new one-day conference and trade exhibition on how to increase profitability; sustainability and add long-term equity value to the family farm business.
The DAFM KT-approved event for livestock and tillage farmers will take place at The Hub, Kilkenny on Friday, October 12th.
The organisers are hoping to welcome 3,000 attendees including - Agribusiness; advisory and educational personnel; family farmers; farm managers and Ag students; farm managers; farm contractors and Agri-Food Science students to this event.
Tickets are €20 for adults, €10 for agri-students and €40 for a family (two adults & children). Car parking is free and one can avail low-cost group travel via Bus Eireann at only €15/20 per person return.
Book online at www.farmex.ie and save €5 on your ticket, fill in a short questionnaire and enter a free draw for €2,500 in Agri input & services prizes.
Image source: Peter & Paula Hynes - Rathard Holsteins