EIGHT families are competing in TG4’s Feirm Factor, which started this week and will run for a total of seven weeks. Among them are the Crowleys from Enniskeane who will be featured in the third episode on Sunday, January 25th, at 8.30pm. It will be an all-Cork affair, where the Crowleys of Enniskeane meet North Cork rivals, the Callaghans from Mallow.
Soon-to-be-married couple James Crowley and Helena Walsh have their eyes on the big prize on offer for the overall winners and already have the €20,000 earmarked for their honeymoon! Full-time farmer James takes on agricultural science student Don in the machinery task, while school teacher Helena takes on mechanical engineering student Donal in the horticulture identification task.
This is its fifth series on TG4 and it has added one more element in that entire families will be involved. Each year Feirm Factor has turned up the heat, expanded and grown, putting Ireland’s top farmers under the ultimate farming test, to find the country’s top farmer.
Family teams of four will compete against each other to take home a cash prize of €20,000. Team members hail from Cork, Kerry, Leitrim, Roscommon, Galway, Dublin and Kildare – all hoping to be crowned Ireland’s top farming family.
The families need to be at the top of their game to impress the three judges: the ever-tough dairy farmer and veteran Feirm Factor judge, Corkman Seán Ó Lionaird, and new recruits, veterinary surgeon Peadar Ó Scanaill from Ashbourne, Co Meath, and organic enthusiast and presenter of Garraí Glás, Connemara girl Síle Nic Chonaonaigh. On hand to offer words of encouragement to our farmers is glamorous new presenter, Galway girl Síle Ní Bhraonáin.
In addition to being an entertainment series, Feirm Factor champions Irish farming and the skills and knowledge needed to be a top farmer today. We gain a valuable insight into what it means to these farming families to be farming in Ireland today, where there are no days off, there is no sick leave, and it’s no 9 to 5.
These families are required to always be on the go, never stopping and constantly dealing with an assortment of trials and situations throughout their week. It is through these trials and situations that Feirm Factor pays homage to and gives the viewer at home a look into the daily routine and challenges of the farmyard.
With tasks ranging from tractor obstacle courses to dosing cattle, guessing crossbreeds of animals to gruelling quizzes, herding sheep and building fences, there’s no task left undone. These families need the right mix of knowledge and experience, skill and tenacity to succeed.