A new series of the hit UTV series Rare Breed - A Farming Year begins on Thursday, January 19.
The hugely popular year-in-the-life observational documentary series charting the reality of farming in the 21st century, giving a unique insight into one of Northern Ireland’s largest and oldest industries.
For more than a decade the series has taken viewers into the farming world through the lives of farmers across the country and now in its eleventh year, these new episodes follow 12 families as they deal with one of the most unpredictable periods in living memory.
The families featured reflect the diversity and innovation in Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector from traditional beef, sheep, dairy and produce enterprises, to social farming, breeding alpacas and sport horses. Viewers can see how they face daily challenges and constantly work in all weathers against a backdrop of Brexit, climate change and the War in Ukraine.
UTV’s Mark McFadden once again narrates the series. Sponsored by Dromona, Rare Breed – A Farming Year starts on Thursday, January 19 at 8.30pm on UTV.
So who are the farmers that we will meet in this new series?
1. John Egerton and sons from Rosslea in Fermanagh
John Egerton farms in Rosslea, Co Fermanagh with his three sons William, Robert and Samuel. The family have a suckler beef herd of 90 cattle and a flock of 250 ewes. In
January, John and his sons are looking forward to the arrival of new calves to the farm. John says all three boys are “mad about farming” so he’s had to push the farm to make it sustainable venture for the future for the whole family.
2. Richard and Leona Kane, Limavady
Richard and Leona Kane who have a 750 acre arable farm near Limavady where they grow a range of crops including wheat, barley, oilseed rape. They also produce carrots and in January, Richard is busy lifting them -- he’s learnt that “it’s a really tricky game to get a nice carrot”. Despite the challenges, harvesting carrots is still one of his favourite jobs.
3. Tim Morrow, Streamvale Farm, Belfast
At Streamvale Farm on the outskirts of Belfast, Tim Morrow runs a dairy herd of more than 200 cattle. In January, Tim is preparing for their busiest time of year- calving season. Streamvale is one of the longest running open farms – it’s been welcoming the public since 1989. It’s very much a family enterprise and later in the series viewers meet an in-law to the Morrow family, Chris Wilson, who runs the open farm business.
4. Richard and William Gilpin from Loughgall, Co Armagh
William Gilpin manages the family vegetable business at Loughgall, Co Armagh. The family have been growing vegetables for 50 years and William remarks the business has continued “to grow depending on what the opportunity is and what the market needs.” The family supply supermarkets across the country. In January, they’re busy harvesting savoy cabbages, some of which will be making their way to Spain. It takes teamwork to get the job done and William is joined by his cousin Richard who oversees the field work.