FARMING is truly a family affair for the McGoverns from the Clogher Valley, who feature on the latest series of hit UTV show, ‘Rare Breed - A Farming Year’.

With four daughters aged between 16 and 24, Sean McGovern is very much outnumbered on the family farm outside Clogher.

That’s not to say the girls don’t follow in their daddy’s footsteps – all four are involved in the farm in one way or another and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

The family’s fortunes during 2017 were followed by a TV crew for the new series of ‘Rare Breed’, which returned to our screens on Wednesday.

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

Sean’s youngest daughter, Orlagh, can be cleaning the sheds on one day and the next honing her Irish dancing skills.
In April she will be competing at the World Championships in Belfast.

Caoimhe 18, has won the UK stock judging competitions against both sexes, including UK-wide competitions.

Eimear, 21, is in her third year at Greenmount Agricultural College and is the one most likely to take over the farm when the time comes.

She is also set to judge at a number of high-profile shows across the island in 2017.

The eldest sister, Clodagh, 24, continues to be involved in showing alongside her sisters.

In the second episode of the new series, due to be broadcast next Wednesday, turmoil strikes the McGovern family farm: first the herd comes down with TB, then dad Sean is hit by a massive heart attack.

Thankfully, Eimear was there that day to call the emergency services and drive her father from the isolated farm.

They tell their emotional story just days after Sean returns from hospital.

As Sean recovers the girls step up their involvement on the farm.

Terry Brennan, Head of News and Programmes at UTV, said: “Rare Breed – A Farming Year has become a firm favourite among 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.”

Mark McFadden narrates the series. New episodes will be shown on Wednesdays at 8pm.