Spring is in the air for Rare Breed farmers

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Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues tonight (Wednesday) at 8pm on UTV with a look at April 2017.

Spring has well and truly sprung for the Rare Breed farmers with this episode featuring lambing and calving in full swing; beer making with home grown barley; sheep’s cheese production; selecting the best cattle for beef for local restaurants; and the very real dangers of unwanted visitors on the farm.

We meet up again with the McGovern family from Clogher as dad Sean continues his recovery from illness, “supervising” the four girls as they muck out the sheds. Youngest daughter Orlagh bears the brunt of the teasing from the others, as she also fits in studying for her GCSEs and Irish dancing practise ahead of the World Championships in Belfast. She finishes ninth in the competition, fulfilling her goal to be in the world’s top ten. She comments on studying for her forthcoming GCSEs: “The head goes down, but the farming still goes on.”

James Alexander’s Randalstown farm is a hive of activity, as he reaches peak lambing season, with over 1,000 being born in less than a month, with lots of twins and triplets in the mix. It’s time for them to go out to the fields but he gets plenty of help from his four young children whom James is looking after for the day. He’s delighted that they have such an interest in the farm.

In Lurgan, Libby Clarke is also in full calving season, and gets help from her two daughters, Lucy and Kate. Both have their own cattle and whilst both are interested in the farm, Libby laments that secondary school holds “different distractions” for her oldest daughter, Lucy. Libby also talks very openly about how a brutal attack in the yard prompted her to recently install state of the art CCTV on the farm, a move which has brought welcome peace of mind for her and the girls.

UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series, sponsored by Dale Farm, Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Wednesday 31st January 2018 at 8pm on UTV.