PETER Hynes of Rathard, Aherla, has only been farming full-time since 2010 but in that relatively short period of time the young man has made huge strides.
He has expanded his herd from 50 to 150 during this period with further plans to take it to 200 by 2019 at the latest with stock on the ground to achieve this objective.
With his wife Paula and three daughters, Chloe, 14; Becky, 10, and Georgina 4; they are first generation farmers on their 101-hectare farm.
Peter previously worked as a foreman at Roadstone in Ballincollig before achieving his Green Cert at Darrara Agricultural College. Paula, who has been working with Peter on the farm for four years, previously worked in a garden centre and together they also ran a yard of horses.
With broad combined experience, their focus is now firmly on their family-run enterprise, and that includes raising the herd’s EBI and improving their genetics. With this in mind they've recently invested in a Dairymaster 20-unit parlour.
Keen to encourage the next generation of farmers, Peter also very generously sponsors a Grassland student award at Darrara Agriculture College (€1,000 for first place, €500 runner-up) to focus students on the importance of grass measurement.
• The winner of the Dairy Farmer of the Year award,sponsored by AIB, will be announced at The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Farming Awards presentation at 1pm on Sunday, September 24th, at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.