Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Video: Meet the Irish man working on a 40,000 acre tillage farm in the US

Andrew O'Reagan on the 40,000 acre tillage farm in North Dakota.
Andrew O'Reagan on the 40,000 acre tillage farm in North Dakota.
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Tramore, Co Waterford native Andrew O’Regan is currently a participant on Ohio International Intern Program and his internship is on a 40,000 acre tillage farm in North Dakota.

Andrew said the farm does a lot of min till, which he found really interesting as there is not much of it in Ireland.

The machinery to farm 40,000 acres, he said, is equally impressive. He was filmed sowing grass with a 60ft air drill being pulled by 510hp tractor on the front of it, one of a number of big tractors on the farm.

He has been involved in cultivation and driving trucks and was operating a self propelled fertiliser spreader for a while and he was off to work a combine during the harvest.

The experience he has gained has been broad – from cultivation work to truck driving, and operating various machinery.

“If you say you want the chance to do X they’ll give you the opportunity if you prove yourself,” he says.

“So long as they’re confident you’re not going to wreck it (the machinery), they will let you have a go,” he said.

Andrew is one of a team on the farm, and he said there is real camaraderie and the farm gives him access to cars and pickups, allowing him to travel around the State and see it.

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Andrew is there until December, but it’s dependent on the corn harvest, which will give him the experience of a full season on the farm, having arrived in spring.

“There are no winter crops, like at home, as the winter is too severe.”

The benefits of participating in the internship, he says, is “it gives you a bigger picture of tillage and crop growing in general. It’s different crops – but it’s seeing how they manage, sell it and store, that’s universal, it’s just getting a different viewpoint. You can learn a lot from that side of things too.”

Andrew’s advice is: If you want to do it go for it. “It’s a great to get away from home and see something new and see a bit of the world.”

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