Rathowen Co Westmeath
Andrew (Andy) Clancy is a fourth-generation beef and sheep farmer based in Rathowen Co. Westmeath where he lives with his wife Leah and their three children Maria, Stephen and Brianna.
Andy always wanted to farm and got his passion for farming from his father who taught him to love the animals as if they were his family. “My father used to say that a good farmer feeds his cattle before he feeds himself.”
Andy is a proud Certified Irish Angus farmer and has reared Irish Angus cattle all of his life. He believes it was only as he grew older that he realised the huge benefit of rearing Irish Angus on a family farm. “They are very docile cattle and easy to work with which is very important for safety.”
Andy has farmed all his life, but his wife Leah grew up in Dublin and so everything about the farm was new to her. She has very much taken to country life however and now rears free-range chicken and grows vegetables and wildflowers. Speaking about their lifestyle, Leah said “The children are out with their father on the farm all the time helping out so they have a good relationship with him, they work as a team together. It’s good for family life.”
Andy has a huge interest in sustainability and has two hectares of natural wood land on his farm. He is immensely proud that this woodland houses three different protected species – The Red Squirrel, the Pine Martin and the Buzzard. He has a keen interest in wildlife and nature and Leah says “It’s like being married to David Attenborough the attention Andy gives to nature around him.”
Andy believes it is crucial that farmers protect and care for the land with the utmost respect and integrity as, in his own words, “We are only taking care of the countryside for future generations to come.
“My father used to say that a good farmer feeds his cattle before he feeds himself.”