Dairy farmer/mechanic on the life on a part-time farm
My week: Michael Teahan
It has been a quiet Christmas and New Year at Michael Teahan's dairy and beef enterprise in Kilcummin near Killarney, Co Kerry; with the cows dry and things tipping over nicely with the cattle.
Michael farms 65 acres and runs a herd of 40 British /New Zealand Friesians -supplying milk to the Kerry Group. He also rears a small amount of cattle for sale at the mart in the late Con Houlihan's territory of Castleisland.
He is ably assisted on the farm by his wife Martha whom he describes as a great help when it comes to the milking. Martha's assistance is all the more important given that Michael has an off-farm job as a mechanic with Kerry Coaches.
"It works out well. The company has 70 coaches and the work really begins in the spring time when I am on call for any mechanical breakdown. You can have awkward times.
"I remember one night calving and getting a call to go to Clifden in Co Galway to deal with a breakdown. But mainly it is routine stuff, so having Martha able to work the farm is great."
The couple have three children - Kelvin (21), who is finishing an Ag Science degree in Tralee IT; Connor(19) who works with a ventilation company in Killarney; and Laura (16) who, when not studying at her local school in Kilcummin, is busy winning All Ireland under age medals with the Kerry ladies county teams. So far Laura has three All Ireland medals at U-14 and U-16 levels in the trophy cabinet.
Michael took over the farm from his late parents, Pat Jo and Bridie, in 1999 and has seen the ups and downs of milk and cattle prices for nearly two decades now.
He believes that the milk price might hit the mid 30s this year.