‘My salary has gone into machinery for the last few years’
Monaghan farmer PJ Fitzsimons is not a man to do things by half measure.
When he decided to propose to his girlfriend Edel last summer, it wasn’t your usual down-on-one-knee approach.
Instead, he lined up square bales spelling ‘Marry me hey’ in one of the fields and then got Edel’s uncle to fly her over the field in his small plane so that she could see the proposals from a great height. She accepted.
It was an eventful summer all round for PJ (27) because last May he and his father, Peter, decided to get out of sucklers because of the low margins in the sector.
They are now concentrating on developing a haylage business on the 60-acre home farm in Patrick Kavanagh territory in Inniskeen, with a further 60 acres leased nearby.
“Sucklers is a losing game at the moment,” says PJ. “You could spend €800 a year on each of them and you’d belucky to get it back. It’d not viable.
“But I still won’t forget the rattle of the trailer on the road from the farm bringing the last of the sucklers for sale last May.
“But the decision was made and now we are concentrating on the hay and small bales business.