23-year-old Annie McGuinness will be documenting her working day via social media this Friday, November 12, in another Agriland Instagram Takeover.
Annie grew up on a sheep farm on the Slieve foy Mountain in Carlingford, Co. Louth.
“I don’t ever remember not lambing sheep or being out on the farm, so it’s hard to say exactly what my first memories of farming are,” she told Agriland ahead of her takeover.
At present, Annie works full-time on Park House farm – a dairy, beef and arable enterprise in Carlisle, England.
“I am just loving the work, learning loads and earning a good wage,” she said.
The farm consists of 800ac spread out between two farms, with 350 Holsteins who are milked 365 days a year; it is a high-input, high-output farm.
There are also 650 North of England Mules and Mule cross out of a Texel ram – these ewes lamb from February – April – beef cattle, pedigree Belgium Blues and some arable crops including winter/spring barley and wheat.
“I plan to stay working over here until the middle of March when I have to go home to lamb my own sheep,” said Annie, who has been on the farm for five months.
Annie will be showcasing her working day at Park House farm this Friday, in an Agriland Instagram Takeover – follow our page to catch her in action.
At home, alongside her father, Annie has over 200 cross-bred lowland sheep on 100ac.
Annie will be graduating with a first-class honour’s degree in Agricultural Science and Environmental Management from GMIT/Mountbellow Agricultural college next week. However, that wasn’t what she initially planned for herself.
“When I finished school, I didn’t go straight to Agricultural college,” she explained.
“I did a PLC in Sports and Recreation and I did enjoy it but I just knew it wasn’t for me, all I wanted to be doing was farming.”
A huge interest for Annie, like many farmers across the globe at the moment, is anthelminitc resistance.
Her final year thesis was on: The impact of an anthelmintic dose versus a non-anthelmintic dose in the reduction of faecal egg count and weight gain in spring-born ewe lambs.
According to her findings, the main problem is blanket treating.
“Too many farmers are overusing wormers where there may not even be a need for them, its wasting time and money. I feel faecal egg sampling should become mandatory before buying any worming products,” she said.
And this is what she does at home.
“Since I did my thesis we now send away dung samples before dosing the sheep/lambs to ensure it is completely necessary on my farm at home.”
Farming in Ireland versus England
When comparing Park House to Irish farms, Annie said that size seems to be the biggest difference.
“Usually at home you will have a dairy farm without sheep or arable along side,” she said.
“In Ireland on the majority of farms we just about get the money out of the farm from what we put in, and it’s usually not sustainable to live just off your farm without another source of income,” she added.
“A major eye-opener for me was the cows being indoors 24/7, it works best for the farm especially with the sheep enterprise alongside it.”
Be sure to follow our Instagram to keep up to date with Annie this Friday, November 12.