Olwyn Owens farms near Athy in Co Kildare, where she is lucky to be living in one of the most fertile areas of Ireland. She is kept busy all year round on a 50:50 enterprise of tillage and finishing beef cattle. Olwyn describes life as always busy and interesting, juggling family and work. Married to Ben, a business entrepreneur, they have four children, Roisin, 19 and Brona, 18 attending college, and Gavin, 16 and Owen, 14 are away at school. All are big into sport so during the week and weekends a lot of time is spent trying to get work done to go to their various hockey and rugby matches, or pony club events.
Olwyn decided to give farming a go when as one of five sisters she was the only one who enjoyed working outdoors on the farms. She studied at the local Ag College and spent a couple of years working at home, before heading to New Zealand for a year to work on a sheep farm near Invercargill in the South Island. Olwyn also spent a couple of years working on stud farms in Australia, in amongst other work ventures. International travel and work experiences were invaluable to Olwyn, with travel rating as her top recommendation for anyone in their twenty's to do.
"A couple of years ago I won the Glanbia Tillage Farmer of the Year, the one and only time it has been won by a woman! I do most of the work myself on the farm, my dad buys in the cattle and I have my son, Owen, helping me at the weekends and during school holidays which is brilliant. Even though I'm working 7 days on the farm, life is good and I could never see myself doing anything else."
Gaining farming experience from others, including insights into other countries practices helps to shape a well rounded farmer. Olwyn, you sound like you have a balanced outlook on life, farming and family.