Silage season is a real family affair

This week we catch up with long standing Mid-Down UFU group member, Will Brown, who is making the green fever silage season a real family affair on his farm in the middle of County Down.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 7:57 am
Front Left to right: Billy Brown and Johnny Young. Back Left to right: Philip Young, David Young and Will Brown
Front Left to right: Billy Brown and Johnny Young. Back Left to right: Philip Young, David Young and Will Brown

Will farmed alongside his father Billy, on their suckler cow and beef farm just outside Spa Village, Ballynahinch, and took over the running of the farm when Billy retired.

Like many farmers at this time of year, he is in the throes of silage making stating it is just as important to maintain the drivers as well as the machinery! Cousins Billy (Will’s father) and Johnny Young have been helping Will put in each other’s silage for years and it is a testament to their enthusiasm to help that this continues. Will commented that he thought he must, at times, have the most experienced silage carting team in the country, with the average age being 85!

At each other’s farm, three generations help out. At Johnny’s, son Philip and grandson David make up the team and at Will’s, daughter Sarah fills the clamp.

Left to right: Billy Brown, Sarah Brown, Emma Brown and Will Brown

It is with great pride to Billy and Will that when it comes to making their round bales of silage, girl power rules with daughters Sarah on wrapping and Emma on carting duties. They are delighted that the UFU now recognise the role that women play on the farm with things like the Women in Agriculture Conference.

The ladies as the next generation, are lining up to take over in the future. Sarah has an honours Degree in Agriculture and works for Agrisearch, helping out at home in the evenings and during the weekends while Emma who also helps out at home, is planning to study agri-food with business at Harper Adams in the autumn. As farming becomes more technical and faces ever changing challenges, Will has seen the benefits that Sarah’s degree has brought to the home farm.

Will also feels it is prudent to have a UFU membership and has on many occasions used the services of the technical team amongst other benefits.