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From nursing to dairy farming in the Burren


Teagasc Student of the Year, Deirdre McMahon, joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast to discuss her decision to change from a career in nursing to dairy farming.

Deirdre is from a farming background in west Clare and says she has a vague recollection of cows being milked on her home farm before her family converted to drystock in the 1990s. Deirdre explains that in her younger years, her involvement in farming activities were limited to standing in a gap when her parents were moving stock.

Following over a decade of studying and working in nursing, Deirdre made the decision to pursue a career in dairy farming with her husband Brian. In order to get up to speed with the skills and technical aspects of dairy farming, Deirdre completed the Green Cert at Salesian Ag College in Pallaskenry as well as courses in hoof pairing, Grass 10 and the New Entrant course.

Ultimately, Deirdre’s efforts have paid off as she won the Teagasc Student of the Year, being recognised for her excellence in farming and technical knowledge.

Deirdre and her husband Bryan milk across two units: a leased farm in the Burren in Co Clare and on Brian’s home farm in Clarinbridge in Co Galway where they run a labour efficient spring calving, grass based system.

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For more episodes go to the Dairy Edge podcast show page.

The Dairy Edge is a co-production with LastCastMedia.com