Thanks to record high milk and beef prices, an agriculture boom in Ireland is helping the country out of its economic slump.
Now, after almost two years since its bailout, Ireland’s budget deficit is falling.
This should be just the beginning, too, as more and more Irish are turning to farming to take advantage of the trend.
Take Richie Dollard, for example. He used to work in construction, until the bubble burst in 2008. He then moved to his family’s farm, initially to plan his next career move. But once business started picking up, he decided to stay on board.
Richie says, “It’s the one industry that’s taking off at the moment. Farming is flying… I think Ireland is such a good grass growing country that it will be easy to expand this industry.”
He’s not the only one who thinks so. Applications to agriculture colleges in Ireland have doubled. At Kildalton Agricultural College, for instance, many courses are now over-subscribed.
As Principal Frank Murphy of Kildalton says, “The life experience they bring back into the classroom is tremendous. They tend to ask lots of searching questions, so from that point of view that has been a positive thing. It has also helped the younger school leavers because it helps to bring a sense of realism into the classroom.”
Ireland is already the go-to meat provider for McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) restaurants throughout Europe. But as more of its population moves into farming, it appears Ireland’s position in the industry will only improve.
Like Murphy adds, “I think if you came back to us in another five years I think you’ll see that output will have gone up and stock numbers will have gone up. But it will be a matter of doing that in a way that’s sustained and handed on to the next generation in the state.”