'I can see the day when most dairy farms are owned by co-ops'
My week: Eamonn Carroll, Loughmore, Co Tipperary, farmer and National Dairy Council board member
It's been a 'mental week' for Eamonn Carroll between getting the slurry out, finishing the hedges, organising the contractors to spread manure on the land and then belting up to Galway to give a continental bull the "once over" with a view to purchasing same.
Eamonn farms about 200 acres at Loughmore in Co Tipperary, milking 90 Friesian crosses for Centenary Co-op in Tipperary and he also rears some 120 head of cattle which he sells at Templemore mart.
"I used to finish cattle but was plagued begging the factories to take them when they were ready to go. Now I sell them as stores at the Templemore mart," he told the Farming Independent.
The 42-year-old is, married to Anne Marie, a local school teacher and 'non farming wife' and he has been running the family farm for the past 20 years.
The couple have three children - Ronan (12), Darragh (11) and Caoimhe (5).
"The boys are a massive help around the farm feeding and helping with the animals," he says with the sure air of a man who knows the farm will remain in the family's hands for the next generation.
Eamonn enjoys what he describes as 'farming politics', but having served for six years at senior levels within the ICMSA up to a few months ago he is very clear about the demands implicit in representing a national farming organisation.
"The amount of time spent on association business was criminal. You were forever planning forward and thinking forward. It was draining," he says.