A farmer who has recently entered a dairy farm partnership with her father has been crowned this year’s Clarke Machinery Queen of the Land.
Louise Crowley (23) who represented Limerick Macra and is a member of Crecora Manister Croom Macra took home the coveted title in Tullamore on Sunday.
Louise told the Farming Independent that she was one of the founding members of Crecora Manister Croom Macra which was only set up less than two years ago.
“There was a club in the area a few years ago but lots of people got married so it kind of died out. A few people were saying in the area that a club should be set up again so we had a information night and over 20 people turned up,” she says.
“We now have 50 members and are really thriving.”
While many have the perception that Macra is exclusively for farmers and some clubs have a problem recruiting non-farmers, Louise says that their club has the opposite issue.
“We are actually trying to encourage more farmers to join our club. We have very little farmers at the moment, it’s mostly just people who live and work in the area,” she adds.
“We set up a young farmers discussion group recently to encourage more young farmers to join so that is going well for us.
Since setting up the club, Louise has become a model Macra member. Not only is she secretary of her club, she is county secretary of Limerick
Macra and represented the county at the 2017 National Beef Stock Judging competition.
She also sits on the National Agricultural Affairs committee which is a role she “loves”.
“I love the role because it is where the policy for dairy, beef and tillage are set. I get the information and then I’m able to communicate it back to everyone in the county and make sure no information gets lost along the way,” she says
Louise has reason to doubly celebrate at the moment as not only was she crowned Queen of the Land, she also graduated with a Bachelor in Agricultural Science from CIT last month having already a dairy business course from Pallaskenry Agricultural College under her belt.
Louise has now moved on and recently bought land to coincide with the home farm where she now runs a 150 cow Holstein Frisian herd with her father John located outside Croom.
She says she has been lucky that her dad has been “totally on board” with her going in to business with him on the farm because she says that’s not always the case.
“Some people would only let their daughters help out and not go in to partnership. Some people in the area were joking that I'd have to wait until I got my own fella to work with dad but he’s totally on board and loves it,” she says.
Louise’s motive for initially taking part in Queen of the Land was for the “craic” as she never thought she would win and admits she was blown away when her name was called out on Sunday.
“I’d never even been to the event before. The other girls had all achieved so much so I just couldn’t believe when my name was called out. I’ve such bug shoes to fill from last year’s queen Emma. I just want to make the most of it."
As well as taking home the title, Louise won a €1,000 cash prize and a selection of other sponsored prizes.
Aishling O’ Driscoll from Cork Macra was crowned second place and Roisin Lynch of Cavan Macra took home third prize. Andrew Corrigan was named Escort of the Year by the 30 queens who competed in the competition
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