Challenging inheritance traditions in farming“50% of the population is women…we need them.”

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Lorcan McCabe is the new Deputy President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association and he’s keen to change the way the issue of inheritance is viewed in the farming community. He sees women as vital to the future of farming in Ireland and is seeking to challenge the idea that the eldest male in the family will automatically inherit the farm. He joined Sean O’Rourke with his daughter Laura McCabe to talk about the importance of getting more women and young people involved in farming.

Lorcan told Sean that his own parents stepped out of the norm when it came to inheritance.

“I suppose, I was lucky. I wasn’t the eldest son. My father and mother, they were modern for their times and they seen that my eldest brother was more into engineering and I was more into farming and I got that opportunity. But it is deeply held that the eldest son gets the farm.”

Laura thinks it’s “in the mindset” of the farming community, even amongst the younger generations.

It’s something that’s never really been questioned before. Even when I was talking to like people my own age, everyone always asks me ‘So, is your brother going to get the farm?’…and I think it’s something that, as a young woman, it’s a bit infuriating. Like, we have the same opportunities [as men] everywhere. So, why shouldn’t everyone have the same opportunities in the farming profession as well?”

Lorcan has three daughters and one son and says it’s unclear who will inherit their family farm as of yet but that when the time comes to make a decision, it will be merit-based.

“Whoever is the most interested or the most capable can will get the land.

Listen back to the full discussion on Today with Sean O’Rourke here.

© The Listener 2018

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