'I love doing this job and the views are wonderful'
It has been a hectic spring and early summer season on Slea Head near Dingle where Niamh Ferriter runs the sheep and livestock end of the family's farming enterprise.
"But look on the bright side," she says. "We got through 10 storms over the winter and we are still standing. It was horrendous down in the Kerry Gaeltacht, but then it seemed to be the same for everyone else."
Niamh looks after a flock of 130 breeding ewes - a mix of Blackfaces, Texels and Suffolks - and all lambed well from February to May, while the Limousin and Aberdeen Angus cattle on the 80 acre upland holding have also thrived this year.
"We were very busy up to a few weeks ago, but everything was good and we had few mortalities among the sheep. It has been a good year so far but we run a spring-autumn breeding operation so we will see what happens in September," says Niamh (29).
"Prices have been good this year - certainly better than last year."
The Ferriters, who sell their livestock at Dingle Mart, have noticed that lamb prices tend to improve as you go up country but she is philosophical about this price disparity. "I don't know why this is but anyway from a farm view point if you keep costs down you will make some profit," she adds.
"Anyway let's say I'd prefer to be doing what I am doing than being in the dairy sector."
Next up on the farming agenda for Niamh is the annual farm maintenance programme and the priority here is fencing. Then she intends to spend some time with the Dingle Cookery School to hone her culinary skills for the second enterprise on the farm where she lives with her mother Caitlin, brother Eoin (35) and her son Cathal (8). Her sister Brid is teaching in Dublin and playing international tag rugby for Ireland.