'The beef men are working for nothing - and it just can't go on'
MY WEEK: Sean Kilkenny
Sean Kilkenny is not a man to mince his words, and his message to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed is simple: get out and meet the real farmers and find out if they are making ends meet.
The pedigree Angus breeder from Ballinagh, just outside Cavan town, believes there is nobody in Agriculture House who has a notion of how hard it is to cope if you are a beef farmer these days.
"The prices haven't been lower in my experience, and what Minister Creed needs to do is to get his people to encourage live beef exports," he says.
"There are simply not enough exports, and live exporting is the only way that prices are going to increase.
"At the moment the beef men are working for zero income - that means nothing, and it just can't go on."
Sean works off-farm with the HSE, and he reckons that having a second job has become the new norm for farmers throughout the country.
He says this trend should be arrested by the Government and Minister Creed as a matter of urgency if they want to encourage the next generation to continue in farming.
Sean runs a herd of 70 Angus and Charolais crosses at his 25-hectare farm and was preparing seven heifers for sale today at the Duleek mart when we spoke over the weekend.