BY MARTIN WALSH
NOT all the sounds coming from the O’Brien family farm at Cashel Beg, near Gaggan, on a recent Wednesday were of the animal variety.
A group of 20 children from nearby Kilcolman National School proved to be very interested and inquisitive visitors on what was their first ever visit to a working farm.
It didn’t take them long to mingle with their new-found friends, particularly, the young calves. After posing for a group photograph on the stacks of round bales, their enthusiasm grew as they followed their host, Owen, to the cattle shed.
Their farming knowledge was tested when they were asked what becomes of milk once it’s taken from the farm and many were intrigued when informed that a cow has four stomachs.Then, it was a return to the calves and, for some, an opportunity to feed the newly-born. Another barrage of questions followed, all well listed by their popular teacher Jennifer Ross.
The children had some time for fun as they stripped straw from an opened bale. Their final task was a view of the milk tank, then back outside, dipping their wellingtons in a bucket of disinfectant, it was time to board the bus and go back to their school in Kilcolman. Next on their agenda is a visit to The Hollies – a centre for training in practical sustainability near Coppeen, Enniskeane.
Afterwards, Ms Ross commented: ‘The children learned a lot, even before they came here we had talks about farm safety, they also know how important farmers are to the community.’