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PJ Pollard - Dairy Sheep

P.J is a dairy sheep producer in Co. Kilkenny. He is currently farming 90 acres, milking 270 sheep while also farming 20 pedigree NewbieAubrac cows

He is a cabinet maker by trade but gave that up to take over the family farm 4 years ago. At that time it was a commercial Suckler herd


PJ's main motivations included:

  • “make something of the family farm and for it to be sustainable”
  • He was also farming part time when working as a cabinet maker and the workload was too much so one of them had to go
  • He always liked farming and believes it to be a ‘rewarding way of living’, ‘every day is enjoyable’ and ‘a nice family balance life’
  • He wanted to make a living from the farm

Success factors:

  • Access to land – family farm
  • Family support – “still run as a family farm, everyone helps out during busy times”
  • Well established company to supply and they also helped out great at the start – Cashel Blue Cheese

Key hurdles:

  • “At present no initiatives for farmers to farm full time”
  • Income at farm level is very poor at present and if “relying solely on farm it can be hard to meet living expenses”
  • No finance made available from the bank, had to finance start up by himself – “if I was to milk dairy cows the bank would have given him any amount of money he wanted but none for milking sheep”


“Capital should be made more accessible to the young farmer”

  • “Make farming more appealing to young people”
  • “Farmer has to get far cut of the product”

Find out more about the New Entrant Network - NEWBIE here