Saying Dia dhuit (Jee-ah ghwitch) to Irish Farmers
In light of St. Patrick’s Day and also for some positive news from across the ocean, IL Corn caught up with a couple of Irish farmers in different areas. Here’s a little bit about their stories.
What are Ireland’s landscapes like?
Before getting to know some farmers, what would you expect from an Irish countryside? Nicknamed the Emerald Isle because of it’s wide fields of lush green, Ireland is also known for having a patchwork of many different landscapes including mountains, hills, and peat bogs.
Meet Padraig Murphy
Like many farmers in Illinois, Padraig Murphy grew up on a farm with his family helping his father. Their farm is a mixture of cattle and sheep. His father, just like him, has always worked full time and farmed part time. After college, Padraig decided to get his herd number (license) to also help on the farm while working full time. He started out teaching and now is a principal at a small school in Wicklow.
He enjoys continuing to farm because of the time it allows him to be peaceful outside from his day job. In the last 5 years, their land has had an opportunity to grow their entrepreneurship into ag tourism (recently slowed due to COVID).
Rath Ban Farm Cottage
The Murphy’s renovated a cottage on their land and have combined that with farm tours to catch a glimpse of the Irish farm-life, even allowing some guests to help with daily chores.
Besides the farm, another attraction for tourists is Wicklow Way, the most well known trail in Ireland. This trail is not too far from Dublin and extends around 80 miles or a 7 day hike. The hiking experience includes a variety of scenic experiences with streams, forests, farmland and mountains. Wicklow Way runs through the Murphy’s farmland so they have given their permission to allow hikers to stop and go through it.
See more pictures of Wicklow Farms owned by the Murphy’s here.
Meet Kieran McEvoy
Another Irish farmer, Kieran, is a full time grain farmer who also volunteers for the Irish Farmers Association and is the National Grains Chairman. Watch this video of Kieran.