Not every girl grows up dreaming to be a farmer, but Jill Moore did. Jill spent every evening after school going out to help her Dad manage his milking herd. The Garvary woman was raised on the farm alongside her sisters but when her sisters moved on to other pastures and pursued different careers, Jill stuck to the farming.

“I have a herd of 50 dairy cows, 15 baby calves, and 35 other calves at different stages. I also have a herd of 40 beef cows to keep me busy.” Mornings on the farm start at 7:15 when the milking begins for Jill and her father. Then they move on to feeding the calves, scrapping them out and then throwing down some bedding with cubical lime down for the cows before using her grab to put in silage for the cows then she’ll check their water before going and having her own breakfast.

The work doesn’t stop there as Jill will then spend the mid-morning doing her other jobs; dosing calves, tagging cows or a bit of fencing. Jill remarked “There’s always a hole needs fixed somewhere.”

On other occasions Jill can be found at the vet, ordering feed for the cows or else taking part in the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Dairy Development Group.

Jill juggles her farm duties with raising her own two children: Sophie (15) and Matthew (11). Although she’s not sure yet if her children will follow her into the farm, she is still hopeful. Curiosity is what first led Jill down to the milking parlour to follow in her dad’s footsteps.

Jill admits that there are some challenges that can occur when working as a farmer in Fermanagh, one universal problem for all farmers in the weather. Jill said: “The main challenge in the weather, getting the fertilizer sewn at the right time of the year and if there’s bad weather, getting a contractor can be stressful.”

The job has many perks for Jill namely seeing the new life on the farm. She said: “I always love seeing the new calves and the new life on the farm and watching them grow up. All the cows have real personalities, and they are friendly. A few even pull me by the ponytail when I’m doing other jobs.”

Farming isn’t the first job anyone imagines a woman in, but jill reveals that people are slowly getting used to the sight of her at the Mart and on the yard. But she has had some interesting encounters. She said: “Some people might call up to the yard and say to me ‘I’m looking for the boss’, and well, I am the boss. Sometimes people don’t take you seriously as a lady farmer, it is a man’s environment but popping in and out of the dairy sale and the DAERA work helps because people start to remember you.”

Jill added:“We need more ladies to take up farming, it is amazing what you can learn and I’d encourage anyone to do it.”