Young Farmer: Meet Eoin Moriarty, raised on a dairy farm, now farming his own herd and flock at 24!


Kerryman Eoin Moriarty hails from the Curragraigue region of South East Kerry, a local GAA star, now running his own herd of cattle and flock of sheep. Pictured on Right above.

Young Farmer: Meet Eoin Moriarty, raised on a dairy farm, now farming his own herd and flock at 24!

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Kerryman Eoin Moriarty hails from the Curragraigue region of South East Kerry, a local GAA star, now running his own herd of cattle and flock of sheep. Pictured on Right above.

Eoin is 24 years of age and as he says himself he always planned on running a farm, and has been doing so himself with great success for the past three years now. He went straight from school into farming, and also works as an agri-contractor. Eoin says the opportunity to set us his own farm "just came up" and he couldn't resist the temptation.

He now owns a herd of almost 70 cattle as well as a flock of over 100 sheep. All of his animals are finished on his farm in Kerry. He farms just over 100 acres, of which he rents. His cattle are slaughtered at around 30 months, and heavily fed for the five weeks before slaughter by Eoin. While his lambs he likes to have finished around November

Though he farms beef and sheep at the moment, this may not have always been the case.

He once harboured dreams of becoming an agri-advisor, but those dreams soon changed.

"At one stage I was planning to be an agri-advisor", said Eoin, before his career moved onto a different path.

He did though have another tie to the agriculture industry, which to most might mean continuing on the same lines. His family were always into the dairying, and had their own farm near where Eoin now farms himself. His uncle and Grandfather were in control of the farm allowing Eoin to tag along, with his earliest memory learning to drive the tractor around the farm.

So why not dairy?

When questioned as to why he didn't follow suit and head into the dairy industry, Eoin spoke of the land being too fragmented as well as the high costs involved.

"It's the massive costs that go into dairying I probably would have gone dairying otherwise. But our land is is very fragmented round here, meaning you can't go into big numbers(herd size)", he said.

He also spoke of the long arduous hours and lack of life outside the farm gate as another contributing factor.

"I don't know would I want to be tied down 24/7, 7 days a week either, and I have enough going with the contracting side", he added.

"I wouldn't think it's all sunshine in dairy either, with the high costs incurred. It seems to be the best option of the three but you have to be very dedicated." said Eoin.

Daily Routine:

His day usually begins at half six every morning, though Eoin's daily chores vary from season to season. During Spring it's usually all about lambing, as well as the constant feeding of his animals. Summer is when it begins to get hectic, with his work as a contractor in full swing, he rarely gets home before 2.am during the months of June and July. This is coupled with having to change his cattle and sheep from paddock to paddock when required. When the summer seasons finishes, Eoin's day tends to finish up at around 8 or 9 with more feeding of his animals. During winter his focus is placed on finishing his lambs off for slaughter, which involves extra feeding.

Generally on a daily basis he performs the usual tasks a farmer may have to complete. This involves the general maintenance of his farm, feeding and checking of his animals, dosing and caring for his animals health and as mentioned above moving his flock and herd from paddock to paddock every few days. He gives grassland a prime focus in his farming, as he looks to further increase weight gains of his animals. This is why he looks to change where his cattle and sheep are grazing every 4-5 days, depending on grass levels, which he regurarly keeps an eye on.

Plans for the future:

Eoin, although he has no definitive plans, is sure that his future is in agriculture.

He plans to soon extend his herd, as well as building a cattle house, though he admits he is "limited at the moment". He also plans to mix up his herd type, changing the type of beef finishing he currently provides.

"Either I'll go from beef, what I'm doing now from calf to finishing, or else go to a suckler herd and beef finishing with bulls under 16 months and heifers under 20 months.", Eoin responded.

One things certain though, Eoin is going to continue on his own and strengthen anyway he can.

Problems:

Starting your own farm is not all plain sailing, as Eoin would readily admit himself.

"They don't make live easy for farmers, I'll put it that way", he said referring to setting up a farm.

"There is always some block or red tape all of the time", he added.

He then spoke of the effects bad sheep prices and the recent lowered beef prices as having a real strain on himself and other farmers alike.

"Sheep prices have taken a massive hit and cattle prices have gone back 20 cents in the past 3-4 weeks", Eoin said.

"It has real ups and downs live everything. There are good and bad days" he said.

"But once you like what you are at your ok", he added with real optimism.

Future of the industry:

When speaking of the future of the agriculture industry Eoin didn't seem fully content with the way things were at the moment.

"It's hard to say where it's going to go. Dairy seems to be in a big boom at the moment. But factories seem to have a law of their own. They can give what they want when they want and there's nobody to say otherwise." he said.

"Once they give you a fair price you'd be happy", he added.

He said that he hasn't seen too many young farmers like him, in his area anyway. Adding that there is only a “handful†of people entering the industry.

"You would think in 10 years in my area, who's going to be farming? You would wonder what will happen", he said.

He added that the main problem is that people don't see a steady career in farming, with parents discouraging their children from entering the industry.

That was never going to deter Eoin though, he always dreamt of running his own farm.

He is currently trying to fulfill his dreams, and at only 24 he's making a real go of it! Already successfully running his own farm with confidence in what he's trying to achieve, and also with a real passion for his job.

Eoin is always looking to improve in anyway he can, which is why he's going to be in the industry for a long time to come.

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