Viewers tune in for their weekly taste of farm life

John and Geoffrey Kinnear
John and Geoffrey Kinnear

The highs and lows of everyday farming life continue to attract viewers across Northern Ireland, with huge audiences tuning in to the new series of Rare Breed – A Farming Year on UTV.

Rare Breed – A Farming Year returned to screens on Monday 5 January with the premiere programme attracting a peak audience of 214,000 viewers in Northern Ireland and achieving an impressive 30% peak audience share.

On Monday 12 January, the second programme in the series continued the impressive ratings with a peak audience of 232,000 viewers and achieved a peak share of 34%.

The new series of Rare Breed captures the lives of 21 farming families from across the island of Ireland and offers viewers the opportunity to witness the journey of produce from field to fork.

Michael Wilson, Managing Director UTV, said: “Our agri-industry and the quality of its produce are outstanding. The fantastic ratings for the latest series of Rare Breed shows the support and pride Northern Ireland has for that industry.

“Rare Breed is an education in itself and it’s great that our audience is not only enjoying a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a farming family but hopefully learning a thing or two they didn’t know before.”

Continuing on Monday 26 January at 8pm, the next programme in the series takes a look back at the month of April in 2014.

The adverse weather at the beginning of the year continues to have a knock on effect on the farms with the relentless rain and cold temperatures continuing to delay essential fieldwork.

In Armagh, the Kinnear family depend on younger relatives to perform the particularly laborious duties such as ploughing the fields while Donegal farmer Jamie Rankin is racing to catch up with his potato planting.

As the month draws to a close, Co Down farmer Allan Chambers and his nephew Neill Patterson examine the weather and hope for an end to the constant rain so they can drill maize crops.

Elsewhere in Laois, arable farmer David Walsh-Kemmis is rolling his barley field crops, which are destined for beer or whiskey purposes. In Galway, the Conways shear their rams for the show-season, a tricky job as each ram weighs more than a 100kg.

Sponsored by Irwin’s Bakery and shot in High Definition, the series is narrated by UTV’s Mark McFadden.

Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Monday 26 January 2015 at 8pm.