Newbie videos and stories
Here you can find videos and stories of new entrants which were made by themselves in a standard format provided by the Newbie project. All video’s give information on the specific farm, the motivation of the new entrants to start a new farm, how they realized it, what kind of hurdles they experienced, what kind of support they got and finally some tips based on their experiences.
For the Dutch movies, English subtitles are already available: switch subtitles in your you-tube settings. We are working on the subtitles of the other movies as well.
P.J Pollard – Dairy Sheep Producer, Co. Kilkenny
He is currently farming 90 acres, milking 270 sheep while also farming 20 pedigree Aubrac cows
Cabinet maker by trade but gave that up to take over the family farm 4 years ago. At the time it was a commercial Suckler herd
His 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
His success factors include:
- 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
Beef and Sheep famer – Co. Waterford
Main motivations include:
- Always farming when he was young and grew up on it
- Was working and farming part time in the evenings, then things got quiet with work so he had more time to farm
- Completed the green cert
Main success factors:
– Background in farming
– Good advisory services available to him
– Always trying to modernise
Kildinan Farm – Rory Magorrian
Organic Salad leaf Producer
Link to website: http://kildinanfarm.com/organic-farming/
Rory and his wife Sheila set up this farm business. They own 20 acres and farm 5 acres of it, with a turnover of €100,000. They were away in Australia for years and while away bought the house accompanied by the land. They never intended to farm the land. However when Rory was made redundant, they decided to make a go of the land purchased 10 years previous.
Main motivations to run the farm:
- Made redundant from job – said we have 20 acres here surely we could make a living from it
- When working as a printer never woke up saying thank god I am going into a factory today. We could change what we are doing for a living and maybe do something that could improve our lives/ lifestyle and maybe could grow organic produce and that was our aim from the start. If we are going to grow, grow organically and maybe improve other people’s lives i.e. less chemicals.
Main success factors:
- Sustainable – both financially and for the soil
- Local – helps selling point
- Specialised – only growing 4 crops but doing it right
- Local support
Support from retailers – Supervalu
Teresa Roche – Cheese manufacturing from home dairy farm, Co.Galway
Link to website: http://kylemorefarmhousecheese.com/index.php
A qualified nurse and worked abroad for number of years. Her parents are milking almost 100 cows and she returned home from abroad 2 years ago and started a cheese business.
Her motivations to return home and start Kylemore cheese was to:
- ‘add value’ to the raw material
- Farm is producing milk for the last 60 years and with the poor milk price when she returned home she believes if she did not begin this alternative enterprise the family would have had to get out of milk
- She also want to ‘keep interest in the family dairy for the next generation’
- She also ‘wanted to put an identity on the local community’
Her success factors include:
- Having the “raw material”
- She visited cheese operations abroad e.g. Switzerland, UK – these acted as mentors
- Having a “unique product”
- “Fully traceable product from grass fed Pedigree Holstein cows producing high quality milk
Padraig O’Farrell, Co.Longford, Ireland
Dairy Farm Partnership, milking 80 cows
Padraig completed Agricultural level 8 degree and returned home to farm. Only son who was “always out farming from a young age”. Set up farm partnership in 2015 on family farm.
His main motivations were:
- Coming home after completing and Agricultural degree in college, he had to start earning an income somewhere.
He described the main success factors as:
- 2 people are involved in the running of the farm – large knowledge
- Advisory – good advisory network that could trust and understand
- Family support – “Open minded father who was already in charge of farm”
- Farm was already in place – infrastructure, land
John Lalor – Kilbeggan Organic Foods
Organic Beef and Tillage farmer, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
Link to website: https://kilbegganorganicfoods.com/
Currently farming 121 ha with half in grassland and half in tillage. The grassland is used to finish 200 beef cattle and the tillage is used to supply organic oats
John studied physiotherapy and left Ireland for Australia where he worked for 10 years.
His main motivations to return home to the farm were:
- His father was getting old and
- He wasn’t passionate about physiotherapy and seen different friends go and do a career change which opened his eyes.
- His father started a food business with the farm produce when he was away which John found exiting. John states “Food business offers something for the future whereas farming doesn’t when on its own”.
His main success factors are:
- Being Organic when it comes to selling
- Contacts – built up a network of people over time
- Been able to “retain more of the margin because they sell direct – cutting out the middle man”
Enda Keaveney – Dairy farm partnership, Co. Galway
Enda is in a dairy farm partnership since 2015 with his parents. He studied construction first and then the recession hit Ireland. They are farming 120 cows.
His main motivations to enter farming were:
- He was always in farming, grew up with it. The farm here is milking cows since 1970’s
- Recession in Ireland
- He began working with other dairy farmers and ‘thought there is more to this than I know and got a grá for it and liked the technical side and decided to go for it’
- He was starting to get older in life/stage in life
- ‘Opportunity for the home farm business to grow/expand, take on new development and to get involved in the farm at home’
His main success factors include:
- ‘Foundations for the farm were here’ had to just apply technical ability to get the most out of it
- ‘good working relationship with parents’, ‘open minded and trust’
- ‘great support and backup with advisor, discussion group and the dairy community – very open minded’
Farmer: Aljaž Uhan
Location: Rodine pri Trebnjem, Slovenia
Business orientation: Fruit family farm
Aljaž Uhan is a young successor of a family fruit farm. Since childhood he was involved in working process on the farm, which his parents transferred from milk production to fruit farm, showing love and highly motivation to be a farmer. He is aware that a family farm is like a family business. There is lots of labour, knowledge and financial input provided by family members and it is welcome when more generation work on the farm.
Farmer: Alenka Zapušek
Location: Lindek nad Frankolovim, Slovenia
Business orientation: hemp farmer
By coincidence (allergic daughter, job loss), in 2011 they took over a small farm and started hemp farming as well as growing herbs and spelt. She has different workshops on the farm.
Farmer: David Vičič
Location: Zarečica pri Ilirski Bistrici, Slovenia
Business orientation: Organic milk production
David Vičič was a blue-collar worker. In his middle thirties, when he inherited a farm from his uncle, a wish came true. With his family, they moved to the farm and have started with organic milk production. He asked public institutions authorities if they are interested in buying organic milk from him, they said yes and that is how their story had started.
Farmer: Andrej Grabnar
Location: Ardro pri Raki, Slovenia
Business orientation: Wine production
In 2016, he took over a family farm and is redirecting it from mixed livestock-viticulture-crop farming to wine production. Labour input on the farm is provided by family members (parents and younger brother). He is very pleased also his younger brother decided to stay and work on the farm.