'People say it's madness to scale up but I enjoy the farming life'
My week: James Turner
James Turner is on his way home to Boolavogue having just sold his 165ac grazing block some 40 miles south in Tacumshane, and he is on the look-out for a farm - though he emphasises that he is in no hurry about any new land purchase.
The 32-year-old farms in partnership with his parents Jim and Kathleen, and his brother, Fergus, at the 200ac home farm in Boolavogue - along with a similar amount of leased land.
The partners run a substantial Holstein dairy herd supplying Glanbia and, from next week, they will be flat out until early March calving 187 cows.
The Boolavogue herd has grown since James was a boy from an original 20 head of Holsteins with an additional suckler enterprise to 210 in 2013, and now the aim is to push the size of the herd up to 450 this year.
"People say there's a madness in having so many cows and scaling up - but, look, I enjoy the farming life and I have no intention of giving it up," he emphasises.
James, who originally trained as an electrician, went back to farming eight years ago when he secured his Green Cert in two modules at Gurteen and Athenry.
"It only took 180 hours to complete," he says with some amazement in his voice.
With the Turners in expansion mode, James bought the Tacumshane farm some years back, purely as a grazing platform for the family's expanding herd but found that the annual movement of his herd back up and down to Boolavogue was beginning to resemble the "winter trek of the wildebeest" as every year went by.