JOHN Sexton (28) is a fine example of an ambitious young farmer, who has used innovative means to get a start in the industry. John started share farming at Gurteen Farm, Bandon, in 2016 having seen this business model tried and tested first hand in other countries and has already surpassed initial targets he set himself. Having grown up on a farm, he achieved his Level 6 Advanced Cert in Dairy Herd Management from Clonakilty Agricultural College in 2008 and he travelled to New Zealand in June 2009 to broaden his experience working as a dairy assistant on a 650-herd farm and was assistant manger to a herd of 850.
After that he moved to the UK where he managed a herd of 400 for three years.
Back home, he's now milking 93 cows having entered into share farming agreement with a Shinagh Estates Ltd and he's looking to increase that to 105 next year. He has exceeded his own targets in his first year of production and, aiming for 320 kilos of milk solids per cow, he achieved 342.
John, who also plays rugby with Muskerry, describes the shared farming concept as a bridge to owning his own farm and is keen to highlight its benefits to young farmers.
- The winner of the Young Farmer of the Year award, sponsored by Drimoleague Concrete, will be announced at The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Farming Awards presentation at 12pm on Sunday, September 24th, at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.