A look at farming from a female perspective as we follow 35-year-old Olivia Hynes, a suckler and sheep farmer from Four Roads, Co. Roscommon, over the busy Spring period.
With farms traditionally being handed down from father to son, it's uncommon for a daughter to take over the family enterprise. Despite the fact that Olivia has four brothers and three sisters, she was the one who chose to work on the farm. With encouragement from her parents to take this path, the land was transferred into her name at the age of 23.
Olivia has been farming full-time ever since, and has worked hard to develop the farm by building sheep sheds and slatted sheds, investing in a new tractor, quad bikes, good fencing and handling facilities. She has designed the work so that she can manage it on her own for the most part.
Olivia now runs 200 acres with over 250 ewes and 75 sucklers. She is hands on in every aspect of the work from dehorning cattle to shearing sheep. In the future she hopes to increase her suckler herd, and continue to produce top quality weanlings and lambs. The challenge for her is to maintain a viable, full-time farm.
In this documentary, we follow Olivia through her work as the new calves and lambs arrive over the busy Spring period.
Produced and narrated by Sarah Blake
First broadcast Saturday 14th May, 2011
[Part of the RTÉ Heart|Land Season (8-15 May), a series of radio and television documentaries exploring rural life in the 21st Century www.rte.ie/heartland]
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.