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Ciaran Carragher – Heifer contract rearing

Ciaran is a part time farmer in Co. Louth Newbie

He comes from a dairy farm but he took on his uncle’s farm in 2013. He was finishing beef cattle but was not making a substantial profit and two years ago he decided to change to contract rearing.

Main motivations include:

  • To make money
  • Always had a love for farming.
  • ‘Great way to bring up kids, had a lot of positive experiences from growing up on a farm and wanted to let my own children grow up on a far. Great life experience growing up on a farm’
  • ‘Also like it for myself for a change to what I’m working at’

Success factors include:

  • ‘Training and education I would have got, both formal and informal’ – Green Cert with Teagasc and then informal from the home farm and uncle
  • Facilities already on the farm
  • Good will from uncle

Key hurdles:

  • Labour – hard to get labour. When start/takeover new farm business there is a lot of work required
  • Access to money/finance


Succession planning for both parties. Should be well incentivised (roll out succession planning in discussion groups)

Find out more about the New Entrant Network - NEWBIE here