FarmIreland Instagram Takeover: Dairy farmer and Queen of the Land Louise Crowley
Queen of the Land and 24-year-old dairy farmer Louise Crowley from Tullovin, Croom, Co Limerick is taking over FarmIreland's Instagram today.
From the age of 16, Queen of the Land Louise knew she wanted to become a farmer. With this in mind, she decided against filling out a CAO form and instead attended Pallaskenry Agricultural College, a 20 minute drive from her family's dairy farm in Tullovin, Croom, Co Limerick.
Click here to visit the FarmIreland Instagram page and to follow Louise's farming adventure's today.
Louise went on to complete a degree in Agricultural Science from Cork Institute of Technology, which she graduated from in 2018.
While farmers entering into partnerships with their sons has been the norm for generations in Ireland, it's only in recent years that more farmers' daughters have been getting into the business with their parents.
As the eldest of three daughters, Louise says she was lucky her father John was always supportive of her desire to work on the home farm with him.
"Dad was always on board - that was never an issue. He backed me even when I was sceptical of myself and I questioned whether I could do it. I owe him everything," says the 24-year-old.
After four years of studying, in 2018 Louise finally returned home full-time to enter into partnership with her dad.
While her father kept 70 Holstein Friesian cows on their 167ac home farm, in an endeavour to support two incomes, Louise took out a loan with AIB and bought a 72ac holding nearby and constructed a new cubicle shed.
"We have managed to increase to 150 cows. I was hoping we would get to 170 by this year, but we had to cull 30 cows due to mastitis in the herd last summer, so that brought down the numbers," she says.
Louise admits that balancing the role of Queen with farming wasn't easy, but said she wanted to give it her all as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I'll never again be Queen of the Land, so I want to say at the end of it that I gave it my all and went to as many events as possible. Dad was great during calving - he did most of the night shifts as he knows this opportunity won't come for me again. Things will settle down next year."