How hard do the 
Hylands work?

I have visited many farms over the years that are highly profitable, but they are not always operations that I would like to work in myself due to the massive commitment the operators demand of themselves and/or their employees.

There is not much point in building up a huge farming operation if it requires massive personal sacrifices and holds no attraction to the next generation.

The Hylands are aware of the pitfalls, but they work long hours and there is no full-time employee other than a milker who does 11 milkings a week.

Additional casual labour is used during calving, but the outside labour bill is no more than €32,000 a year.

"We start at about 6am most mornings and are back in the evenings by 6.30pm," says Paul. "But if there's ever anything that we need to get away for, we just go. There's no hassle that way.

"I always get away for the kids rugby training at 10am on Saturday mornings. Even at the height of the calving season. That's really important to me, and I can see it means something to the kids too. My own dad did the same, and it meant the world to us.

"I love being down there doing the milking on a Sunday morning with no-one bothering you."

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