'No one likes giving up the land - it's a pride and tradition thing'
My week: Francis Larkin, Portumna, Co Galway, farmer and auctioneer
Published 13/04/2016 | 02:30
They are letting out the stock now at Francis Larkin's farm just outside Portumna where the Galway man runs a livestock operation alongside his new auctioneering business in the town.
"Everything is good. We're letting out the stock at the moment and spreading fertiliser. The hedges are done - I wouldn't have stepped out of line on that deadline," he told the Farming Independent this week.
Francis (44) is married to Margaret and they have a 14-year-old son, Oisín, who helps out on the 80 acre farm.
Francis sells all his livestock - sucklers and weanlings - through Portumna mart and keeps 20 cows on the farm for breeding purposes.
He did a milk round in the region for 10 years before returning to take over the farm when his late parents became ill.
He soon realised that he needed a second job to keep everything afloat and did some time with a Nenagh auctioneer who was retiring.
Four years later he qualified as an auctioneer after studying in Dublin and Limerick IT.
"You are not going to earn enough from farms around this size what with the REPS and farm payments on the way down and prices in grain, milk and even beef also on the way down.