Michael Muldoon hails from a strong dairy background, having been brought up on his family’s dairy enterprise in Co. Meath.
“I’m 29 and a dairy farmer from Ireland” Micheal explained to That’sFarming.
“I am the fifth farming generation in my family.” He added.
(Note - These are cows from a Canadian farm Michael works on)
This enterprise is run on the family’s 100-acre holding near Carlanstown in the Royal county and the herd is comprised of eighty High-yielding Holsteins, though this is not where Michael himself now farms.
“We run 80 high-yielding Holsteins, on 100-acres.” Michael added.
This is where the interest in dairy peaked for 29-year-old Michael and although not a fan of study, he departed for Ballyhaise Agricultural college in nearby Cavan, where he studied.
“I went to Ballyhaise college for a year. I hated it.” Michael laughed.
International Journey -
Although Michael’s agricultural educational experience left a lot to be desired, the Carlanstown native still remained determined to obtain a future in Agriculture.
This led to the 29-year-old young farmer embarking on a working trip to the US just last year in 2017, where he worked as a herdsman. It was here in South Dakota that Michael took on a role with Fermanagh native, Rodney Elliot, who built the farm in 2006 and now runs a herd of in excess of 1,500 cows.
“I then went working in the US, in South Dakota for Rodney Elliott,” Micheal told That’sFarming’s Kevin.
“I worked there as a herdsman in 2017.”
Michael stayed working with Fermanagh farmer, Rodney, for an extended period, though this was not to mark the end of Michael’s International journey either.
Further travels -
Following his role as a herdsman in South Dakota, Michael again departed on another long voyage, this time his destination was Canada.
(Some pictures above taken by Michael in Canada)
He now works in Saskatchewan in Canada, on the area’s biggest dairy enterprise with over 2,000 cows.
“I’m working in Canada now for Derek Westeringh,” Michael noted.
“It is the biggest dairy in Saskatchewan, with over 2000 cows and growing, which are spread over 3 farms” he continued.
Michael’s Role -
Michael himself is now the farm manager on one of Derek Westering's three dairy farms, where he runs a milking herd of 550 cows.
This farm, White Pine Dairy, is located in Hague, Saskatchewan and Michael’s role as farm manager means he oversees feeding, breeding and the overall running of the enterprise.
“I manage one of the farms, White pine Dairy, with 550 cows all milking.” Michael explained.
“I manage the people, the cows, the feed, the breeding, everything” he adds.
Cows are milked on a 10-unit double-up, rapid-exit parlour with backflush. This allows Michael and the team to milk approximately 100 cows every hour, with milking undertaken for 18 hours every day and cows milked three times daily.
“The parlour is a 10-unit double-up, rapid exit with backflush,” said Michael.
“We milk 100 cows an hour, milking 18 hours a day, Three times a day”
What differs on this farm in Saskatchewan is that weather dictates a lot in the area, with cows having to be housed around the clock.
“All cows are housed 24-7, 365 days a year.” Michael noted.
“In the stalls, the manure is recycled as bedding, but this is being changed to sand.” He added.
Favourite aspects of the job and the future -
For Michael, watching the fruits of his hard labour is what makes the job all the worthwhile.
“It’s the job satisfaction. It’s in the blood,” said Michael of his reasons for loving farming.
This, managing people and all of the knowledge he has learnt during his time in Canada are other contributory factors for Michael’s passion for his job.
“I love the managing the people, seeing the job improve.” said the young farmer.
“Especially on the breeding and feeding end of things. I’m the highest breeder in all the farms,” Michael said.
Someday in the coming years, 29-year-old Michael will make his return home to the Emerald Isles of Ireland, though for the moment he couldn’t be happier.
“I have learned in 2 years what you would never learn at home,” Michael Concluded.
If you farm across waters and would like to be featured like Michael, contact Kevin with details of your background and enterprise on firstname.lastname@example.org