For over 40 years, FRS Farm Relief has been at the helm of providing farm labour support to farmers. While the provision of support has been on going for decades, in more recent times we have noticed the growing importance of having a good working relationship between the farmer and the FRS operator for things to work well.

We chatted to farmer, Laurence Mc Donnell, and full-time operator, Gary Kerrigan, on their working relationship, the farming set up, the benefits of getting help and doing the job you love.

Meath farmer, Laurence Mc Donnell, has used FRS Farm Relief Services for years. Starting off using part-time relief workers helped Laurence with weekly and daily tasks but last year he decided to look for a full-time FRS operator.

“I have a 250 dairy cow herd. We do both Spring and Autumn calving too, rearing our own calves. We keep the heifer as replacements and sell the bulls. On the farm we also do all our own slurry, fertiliser, silage etc. It’s a busy place all year round, it never stops. About 12 months ago I decide to contact the FRS office and look for a full time operator. It was getting harder to keep on top of the work and look after myself.”

With Gary Kerrigan being placed on his farm last year, Laurence has a ‘really good system going’. He says the benefits of having a full time operator include having someone there knowing the run of the place and knowing how he works.

“Gary is a good lad, he uses his initiative. If I’m not here, he is busy as he knows what to do and I can trust him to get the jobs done. Overall, we have good working relationship as he is easy to work with.”

Gary had always enjoyed working in agriculture but moved away to other industries. After seeing a job posting for FRS Farm Relief he applied online.

“A job popped up that I thought would suit so I said I’d give it a go. The application process was easy. I was looking for a full-time position and I love the outdoors so this works really well.”

As it is a busy farm, there are daily tasks to be completed along with other work depending on the time of year. This means that no two days are the same for Gary.

“Everyday is different. It really depends on a few thing but some of the jobs I do include milking, calf rearing, feeding, bedding, fencing, and then the tractor work. A bit of everything really.”

Gary also sees the benefits of working full-time with Laurence. The duo have a good set up and recognise a key factor in their working relationship is good communication.

“Working with Laurence is great. He is very easy going and everything is perfect for the way the farm works. We communicate well, which is really important, and he is easy to work with. It’s just nice to work with someone like that.”

With Gary delighted to be back working in agriculture he stated he ‘loves coming to work’, Laurence would also recommend using FRS Farm Relief Services. For those thinking about applying to work with FRS Farm Relief, the message that both men gave was to simply ‘take the first step and try it out’.

Gary is just one of the many operators currently working with FRS Farm Relief. If you are interested in becoming an FRS operator visit and fill out an application form online.

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