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Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Career Profile: Farm Business Owner

Imelda Kinsella is a farm business owner (Family partnership) from Mullinavat, Co. Kilkenny. Her interests outside farming include travel particularly outside Ireland. 

Farm details

Area ha: 38 ha milking platform, 101 ha farmed in total in four blocks, of this 12 ha is leased
Labour: Family labour plus one full time farm assistant
Herd: 120 spring calving cows and calf to beef system

Career path 
  • Certificate in Farming at Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural College
  •  Diploma in Dairy Management at Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College (including a twelve month work placement)
  • Home farming since 2001
Background

Imelda is farming in partnership with her parents Seamus and Marie on their dairy and beef farm. She was interested in farming from an early age. When she came home to farm in 2001 her parents were milking 65 cows and have gradually expanded to the current 120 cows. Entering a formal milk production partnership in 2003 allowed the Kinsella’s access milk quota to expand; it also formalised Imelda’s role on the farm and allowed her to have a greater management input.

Current role

Imelda’s role has changed considerably over the last 14 years. Originally she spent most of her time doing the daily farm jobs. Once she entered into a partnership she was involved more and more in the decision-making process for both daily management and long-term planning. Now she has the main management responsibility on the farm but still works closely with her parents and values their advice.

Up-skilling

Imelda has found her local Discussion Group to be a great place to learn. She was involved with Macra in local LEADER projects which helped her to learn more about business management.

Future career goals

Imelda sees a lot of scope to improve profitability at their current scale and so the priority is to improve this first before thinking about getting bigger. As well as a profitable business Imelda and her family also want to maintain a good work-life balance.

Article by: Teagasc