Cavan farmer on managing a 300-sow piggery as well as sheep and sucklers
My week... Catherine McCollum
Former Macra Queen of the Land, Catherine McCollum is a farmer through and through.
She is currently developing a new farm near Belturbet in Cavan with her partner Noel, as well as helping her dad Howard and brother John on the home farm in Ballyhaise.
And when her maternity leave is completed in a few months time, she will also be returning to the Cavan Institute where she lectures on animal care and management.
At the moment the 38-year-old's main priority is her eight-month-old daughter Rachel, her sister Sarah (2) and sorting out the paperwork for the two farms.
Catherine, who has an Ag degree from Queen's University in Belfast, is a firth generation farmer. Currently there is a 300-sow piggery on the 60ac home farm, as well as sheep and sucklers, and on the additional leased land nearby in Ballyhaise.
With her partner, Noel, Catherine is developing a smaller unit in Belturbet (20ac at the moment) which will be strictly a sheep and Aberdeen Angus enterprise with some 80 ewes already in situ.
The McCollums sell their pigs to Grants of Derry, sucklers to Liffey Meats and sheep to Kepak.
Catherine's personal favourites are the pigs. And that's despite the fact that rearing pigs for the market today is "very stressful" given the tightness of the margins in the sector.