It’s a family affair as ‘Rare Breed’ returns to screens

Pictured at the recent UTV 2018 programme launch are the McGovern Family from Clogher, who are taking part in this year's series of 'Rare Breed 'A Farming Year' which starts on UTV on Wednesday 10th January at 8pm. From left to right are Orlagh, Eimear, and Caoimhe McGovern, UTV Reporter Mark McFadden who narrates the series, Kelda Crawford-McCann, Managing Director of independent production company Crawford McCann who produce the series, and Clodagh, Roisin and Sean McGovern.

‘Rare Breed – A Farming Year’ returns for a new series with new farms, new families and new stories on Wednesday 10th January, 2017 at 8.00pm on UTV.

This 12 part series shows the highs and lows of farming life throughout the agricultural year.

In the first episode we meet The McGovern family from Co. Tyrone. It’s a truly family affair with Sean and his four daughters aged 16-24 all helping out with the 80 cattle on the family farm in Clogher. They are getting cattle ready for sales in Scotland and we meet daughter Eimear who’s been showing cattle since she was three, and tells the viewer about what sends her Daddy into a tizzy before shows.

We also meet goat breeder Geoffrey Ringland from Katesbridge Co Down, who combines his goat farm with a full time job for a haulage company. He got his first goat at 10 years old and by his own admission, his obsession ‘quickly spiralled from there and went out of control’. In the first episode, despite being five months away, he’s starting preparations showing his prized livestock at the Balmoral Show.

Throughout the series we also meet Libby Clarke from Magheralin, Co. Armagh, who has a herd of Charolais and Beef Shorthorn cattle. She’s a farmer, estate agent and single mum, juggling work, family life and play. She runs her farm single-handedly, contracting out slurry and silage jobs. She’s a leading agent for farm sales in Northern Ireland and gives an insight into the changes in that market.

Featured also in the series are two Co. Antrim Farmers. Vet Cahir McAuley, from Antrim who combines his busy practice with running the family farm, and James Alexander from Randalstown who run a massive operation with 950 cattle and 450 sheep, as well as selling tractors and 4x4s all over UK and Ireland.

Terry Brennan, Head of News and Programmes at UTV said: “Rare Breed – A Farming Year has become a firm favourite amongst UTV viewers who look forward to the return of the agricultural series each year in our New Year schedule. The last series attracted an average audience of 172,000 viewers per episode which was a great success.

“Rare Breed is unique in that it gives viewers an access-all-areas pass to the people behind one of the island’s biggest industries – on farms both big and small. As well as our farmers from Northern Ireland, the series also features farmers from all corners of the Republic of Ireland, which allows the sheer variety in the industry to shine through.”

The series is produced for UTV and TV3 by local independent production company Crawford McCann Television. Kelda Crawford-McCann, Managing Director of the company said: “We are delighted with the continued popularity of Rare Breed. It’s been another fascinating 12 months with our farmers, following the highs and lows they face as they run their businesses and produce food for tables throughout Northern Ireland and further afield.

“It is great to launch another series of Rare Breed on UTV, the series will run for 12 weeks with each episode representing a different month of the year. We have a real variety – everything from organic farming to selling 4x4s; from goats, sheep, pigs and cattle to ploughing, showing and judging. It’s all there!”

UTV’s Mark McFadden will narrate the series. Sponsored by Dale Farm, Rare Breed – A Farming Year starts on Wednesday 10th January 2018 at 8.00pm on UTV.

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