Kerry farmer on picking up the pieces after accidentally burning one of his cattle sheds

  • Kerry farmer on picking up the pieces after accidentally burning one of his cattle sheds
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    David Diggins optimist by nature, despite the strange injuries that can give life, as the accidental burning of one of his stall in the early spring, in which six of his calves have died.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/dairy/dairy-farm-profiles/kerry-farmer-on-picking-up-the-pieces-after-the-accidental-burning-down-of-one-of-his-cattle-sheds-37211548.html
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/article37211547.ece/3b341/AUTOCROP/h342/2018-08-14_bus_43230133_I1.JPG

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David Diggins optimist by nature, despite the strange injuries that can give life, as the accidental burning of one of his stall in the early spring, in which six of his calves have died.

Faulty wire in TB patients overheating, and it was a drama that any farmer could do, especially in this weather-affected year.

Everything has come full circle for dairy farm David, including the shed, which was replaced last week.

David farms 74 acres of “good land” beyond Ballybunion, Co Kerry, where he milks a herd of 54 cross breeds (Friesians, jerseys and Rotbunt), supplying group Kerry.

He does not dwell on the current Kerry milk price other than to say: “this is, but okay – things can only get better.”

David (54) was agriculture, since he was 13 -starting with his late father, John, and now on his own, although his mother, rose, is keeping a Keen eye on the company from his home on the farm.

“I was a farmer since I was a kid. I did the leaving cert and all that, but agriculture has always been my main thing,” David says.

He has four siblings: Mairead, “who grows with her husband Tom up the road”, Pat, a teacher locally, Maura, a lawyer in Maynooth, Co Kildare, and Brendan, who works with Pfizer in cork.

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David is not married – he says he’s never found a woman “enough to work”.

He keeps it to feed the cows this year, despite the fall in the tonnage of his first cut and foretold the fall of its second segment, but he expects come to the real problem of winter forage.

“It’s not for me to tell the Minister of agriculture Michael creed what his job is or what to do, but there will be problems of feed for several months across the country,” said David predicts.

However, he would like to say to the Minister that he could reduce the amount of paperwork arising from the rural house in Dublin.

“There appears to be two officers around for what a farmer makes. You can’t turn a stone without official butt in,” David remarks.

On the home front he is delighted with the proposals that Kerry co-op should get his share in the group, Kerry. David feels that the elimination of stock will only be good for the taxman and shareholders will be deprived of a valuable asset.

“There are different opinions on this issue among shareholders, but I think it’s a bad idea, because most of the value of the shares will go to the taxman,” he says.

“But then I’m a glass half full person, and I think that the shares should be held on until the correct offer to put on the table.”

To leave the farm, the main interest of David playing cards – ’41’ with friends at local pubs and in the fortunes and misfortunes of a football team in Kerry.

“I don’t know what’s going on these days and I don’t know what’s going on with the leadership team,” he says.

“But it’s probably better that we of All – Ireland, because if we had to meet in Dublin we would have been killed.”

In conversation with Ken Whelan

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