‘Townie’ John Deere driving Edna revs up for silage event

She may not be from a farming background, but Edna Roche will be showing how to drive a John Deere tractor in style at the ‘Grass Women‘ silage spectacular.

Roche will be driving a John Deere at this year’s silage event in the grounds of Mount Melleray Abbey, Waterford, on Saturday, August 19.

She’s from the town of Dungarvan, but always had an interest in horses. She now lives with her partner, David Browne, on a dairy farm at Colligan, Dungarvan.

Although she has a full-time job at Connors’ Vets, she helps out as much as she can on the farm. “I met David six years ago, and started working in Connors’ Vets three years ago.

“I met Kathleen Denn, who will be driving the harvester at the silage event, through work, as Kathleen works part-time at the vets. Kathleen encouraged me to get involved. I didn’t have a choice really,” she laughed.

It’s for a great cause – The Alzheimer Society of Ireland – and I’m looking forward to it.

There are two John Deeres on her partner’s family farm, and Roche will be taking the bigger one, the 6530, for the silage event.

“I’m well used to it. Having been so into horse riding, the move into farming was a smooth transition for me. I’ve always been a little bit country.”

And to any lad who might under-estimate her ability to reverse, she has the following to say:

I’m okay at reversing. I’ve had plenty of practice reversing with a horse box.

People aren’t too startled to see her doing the tractor driving and heavy lifting, as she’s a familiar face at the vets’ practice, and at show jumping competitions locally.

“I mainly compete around the local area. It’s nice to have a bit of competition but it’s a bit of craic more than anything else,” she said.

Meanwhile, her partner is very supportive of her participation in the silage event. “David thinks it’s a great opportunity to raise money for the charity, and to brush up on my driving skills.”

A Guinness Book of Records application has been submitted for the ‘Grass Women’ event.