Tipp farmer on life milking between 90 and 100 Friesians at his home farmMy week... Pat McCormack
Pat McCormack will be a 'young farmer' for another few days, and the Tipperary milk supplier and ICMSA deputy president fully intends to "drag out" his status until the bitter end.
"It used to be that you had to be under 35 in Ireland to qualify as a young farmer, but with the various EU amendments to definitions over the years, I can say I am a young farmer until I reach 40. I am 39 at the moment," he says triumphantly.
Pat, who will marry local girl Joanne O'Dwyer in June, runs a herd of between 90 and 100 Friesians at his home farm in Greenane outside Tipperary town and supplies Tipperary Co-op.
His current milk price, with the 3c/l February bonus, comes out at 37.5/l, which he describes as a relief given the dismal returns of the past few years. However, he emphasises that a floor of at least 32c/l will have to be guaranteed if dairy farmers are to make a living.
At the moment, Pat is flat out on the farm. His main preoccupation from a farming perspective is the breeding season, which runs over the next eight weeks.
He is also concerned by the upcoming Brexit talks, which he says will impact one way or another on the Irish dairy and beef industries because of our dependence on the British market for exports.
He believes the Government will have to be at its negotiating best for the talks, because of the possibility of a new European border emerging from the process and all the commercial barriers and disruption that such an outcome would entail.
But overall how does he think Ireland will fare?