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Feirm Factor!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

FEIRM FACTOR'S is a 10 part series for TG4 which is on at 9:30pm Thursday January 21st.

"Who is Ireland's premiere farmer? Is he, or maybe even she, a good representative of Ireland's ever demanding agricultural workforce?

The groundbreaking new ten part television series will give the people of Ireland another insight into the world of today's Irish farmer. Produced for TG4 by Good Company Productions, the series requires the contestants to prove their worth as farmers through a myriad of tasks and wider world challenges. As the farmers travel throughout the country we view Ireland at its best as Feirm Factor bases itself in the various Agricultural Colleges Nationwide.

2009 saw 12 strong and worthy contestants raise the bar for Season 2. This year the tasks will be bigger, the challenges tougher, and each of the chosen 12 will not only be forced to face their strengths and weaknesses head on, but will also be expected to continually prove their salt as a farmer and agricultural entrepreneur in order to keep their place within the competition.

With the success of series one, applications for series two came flooding in. After the difficult task of reducing hundreds of applicants to only 12, TG4 and Good Company Productions were confident they had a final bunch of contestants we could all be proud of. Hailing from Meath, Longford, Mayo, Tipperary, Cork, Kerry, Donegal and Oxford England, the aspiring twelve were more than capable of making their own mark in the world of Irish farming.

Each week will see the farm friendly twelve battle it out in a carefully selected series of tasks and missions to determine who gets to stand their ground for another week and move closer to winning the fantastic top prize of a Land Rover Discovery, and of course the title of Feirm Factor Champion.

The decisions will be made by Feirm Factor's three resident judges, presenter and TV personality Maura Derrane, former Minister for Agriculture Alan Dukes and Cork based dairy farmer Seán O' Lionáird.

The trio will carefully assess each farmer and the tasks they complete in order to each week confidently eliminate one of the aspiring contestants.

The challenges and tasks are tough and will compel the farmers to evaluate their own accomplishments and farming experience. We will see them undertake a variety of farm related projects , such as cattle dosing, selling, fencing, welding, computing, tractor skills, weighing and pricing animals as well as testing their business acumen and market sense. This is just a fraction of the multitude of duties the contestants will be assigned throughout the programme, and many of the tasks will enlighten and introduce viewers into the extensive and backbreaking vocation of the Irish farmer.

A selection of guest judges will be making appearances throughout the series, offering their own expertise and experience to the contestants whilst helping the three main judges make their final elimination decisions. In series two Feirm Factor will travel to Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Tipperary, Cavan, Wicklow and the Aran Islands. This picture postcard journey of Ireland gives an uninterrupted view of our homeland in all its beauty, rural Ireland has never been so appealing.

In the exciting finale, the remaining top three farmers will travel to Charleville Castle Co.Offaly where a new winner and Feirm Factor Champion will be announced.

On being crowned Feirm Factor winner 2009 - Tom McGillycuddy

"Feirm Factor consistently challenged me as a farmer, allowing me to work on my weaknesses and thrive on my strengths. Being involved in the series was a once in a lifetime, and an unforgettable experience, but winning truly changed who I am as a farmer, for the better.and partly I have my new Land Rover Discovery to thank for that''.

The series will be another roller coaster through the farmyards and agricultural college's of Ireland. It will be an exploration into Ireland's oldest and most necessary profession, infusing traditional farming with the modern farming businesses of today.
Whatever you believed you knew about farming forget it, prepare yourself to be acquainted with a world you thought you understood but in reality knew nothing about.

FEIRM FACTOR'S brand new 10 part series for TG4 begins 9:30pm Thursday January 14th 2010 (Repeats following Saturday @ 7:15pm)". TG4 Press Release

Clár 2 :

"It's Gurteen's next top model in programme two as Maura Derrane assists the enthusiastic twelve to direct their own farmyard photo shoot. Tensions are high as elimination is around the corner for one unlucky farmer. Can this weeks tractor driving and sheep counting tasks help someone to keep their place? The farmers also have time to unwind as they get to know each other better on a night out in Birr Co.Offaly where Maura tests how well do they actually know one another. Have they done enough to prove their farming skills and impress the judges? Decision time as one contestant will be leaving in the first elimination of the series and only eleven will return to fight for survival in Feirm Factor!" TG4 Press


Why did you get involved with FF?
My friend told me to enter and I looked into it and decided to give it a go. I did see some of the series last year so I had some idea of what it entailed.

What kind of a farmer are you?
My parents have a farm in Oxford. I have been living in Ireland for 9 and ½ years. I work in a DNA laboratory for animals in Johnstown and Naas.

Most of us in the series are part time farmers but they have a different full time occupation.

Where is your farm?
The family farm is in Oxford. My dad is a beef and arable farmer. I go back to help them out every once in a while. I live in Kildare and I have a few horses that I race.

Is it harder for a woman to be taken seriously in the agricultural industry?
I know back in England it would be but over in Ireland I wouldn't have that much of an insight but with regards the programme the women are just as able as the men if not better.

Is it important for your family to pass down the farm to you?
To me no - they passed the farm down to my older brother.

What tasks have they been getting you to do?
We have had to move calves and sheep. Every day was different. It was a bit of everything.

What's the 3 main skills a farmer should have?
They need to be an all rounder - patience and knowledge are key. They also have to be adaptable and to be able to handle the pressure.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I guess I need to be a bit more relaxed as I stressed out a good bit. I felt at times I didn't have as much knowledge as everyone else.

Are you very competitive?
Yes I can be very competitive. I never really saw anyone as my main competitor - I just wanted to do well for myself. Maybe Caroline from Cork - as she seemed to have so much farming knowledge and was so confident.

What were the judges like - any Simon Cowells?
No I think the judges were fair but when I thought I did bad the judges thought I did great and vice versa. Alan might be the closet thing to Cowell but to be honest he was fair.