A HELPING HAND Kevin Moran pictured in 2016 with Grace O’Malley from Robeen. Kevin donated his €3,000 cash prize from winning Young Farmer of the Year to The Friends of Grace Trust which helps Grace’s fight against Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
“BEING a dairy farmer, it’s the busier time of the year, so the alarm goes off around 5am. I make sure to have a good breakfast before heading out to the farm to begin the first jobs of the day – milking and feeding calves. That morning routine that would take me up until 10.30am. Then I would have a chat with the two lads working on the farm to organise what we’re doing for the day. After that, the lads would go off and do the hands on stuff and my responsibilities at the minute would be paperwork, organising contractors, sourcing inputs, and pricing inputs. In the evening time, we take turns milking and feeding calves. I get the overalls on again and get hands on. Usually we finish by 6pm and we have a night calfer in that looks after things from there.
I grew up in Claremorris on a farm and I had the wellies on as young as I can remember. I went straight from school into farming, and at 19 I leased my farm in Caherlistrane. A couple of farms around it then became available and it just grew. The farm is now 360 acres and we’ve 320 cows.
I would be very in touch with all the lads I did my Leaving Cert with, guys who went off on a different track and went and experienced college. And it’s not something I regret. When you’re young and have no one relying on you, that’s the time you can really give your all to building your business. They are the years when its really challenging in getting your business up and running and it was good to have those years, to give the business the time it needed.
After I started full-time, I received the Nuffield Scholarship and went traveling the world for a year visiting other farms. It was great, particularly in the sense that I didn’t get the college experience and it filled that void.
I’m living in Annaghdown, Galway with three lads from home, Shane Nally, David Daly and Liam Byrne. I takes me around ten minutes to get to the farm from the house and I would be a Today FM man, Dermot and Dave!
In the evenings I would either go to the gym or football training. It’s great to have something because it structures your day and you become a lot more disciplined. Particularly during the busier times, you can get tied down to the job and I find football a great way of relaxing, although that might find funny.
In 2016 I won the Young Farmer of the Year. The gravity of it doesn’t sink in with a lot of people who aren’t in touch with farming, but for me, it was probably my All-Ireland medal, and that’s silly to say. But in the farming world it was fantastic, I never thought I would pull it off. I think my family knocked more mileage out of it than I did though!
The biggest challenge in farming I think right now is the perception of farmers, that we work around the clock and that it might not be the most attractive career. But the young farmers I know are well educated and well travelled. I know very few young farmers who haven’t some sort of agricultural degree. Farming is much more calculated without a doubt.
For any young farmer, I would tell them don’t be afraid to be passionate about it, as a lot of people can try and hide it for whatever reason. You attitude is very important, whether in a sporting sense or for your work. For me, it’s what everything stems from. You have to understand that at the end of the day, the farm is there to serve you, you’re not there to serve the farm.
I’m fairly laid back and I don’t stress too easy. If you walked into the farm you could see me in a a pair of jeans and clean hoodie, or a pair of waterproofs, covered head to toe in cow muck.
Right now we’re at at stage where we are after undergoing huge expansion. So we’re going to consolidate for the short term an then hopefully expand again in the long term.”
In conversation with Ger Flanagan
Name: Kevin Moran
Occupation: Dairy Farmer
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Travel the world
Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I’m the highest ranked Fifa player in my house
Where’s your favourite place in the whole world?
Name three things that are always in your fridge?
Milk, chicken and yogurt
What makes you nervous?
Favourite TV show?
Who’s the most famous person you met?
Most prized possession?
Best advice you ever-got?
There is a difference between being intelligent and clever