By Roisin Healy Irish Farmers Journal
Office manager of the Irish Grassland Association, Maura Callery credits her strong work ethic to her parents and the fact she has been surrounded by farmers all her life. Her parents have a farm machinery business for over 50 years in, Westmeath, and her earliest memories are helping out during the school holidays from when she was as young as eight. “I got my first job in a hairdressers at 14, and I also represented Ireland at 15 at a seminar in the European Parliament Headquarters, so I was enterprising even at that age.” “My parents were beef farmers too and they taught me to have great respect for work and money,” she explains. At 15, her transition year placement at Smith and Foley veterinary office lead to seven years of part-time work, and also to her best friend and husband Donal, a farmer. “The veterinary office is where I met my husband, and we now have three kids”.
She simultaneously worked in Ulster Bank from the age of 18, so was working six-day weeks. She was with the bank for 11 years, until she decided to be a stay at home mother after her third child was born in 2009. But two months later she saw an ad in the Farmers Journal for the office manager position with the Irish Grassland Association, a not for profit organisation aiming to help farmers learn how to get the most from their grass. She has been with the organisation since then, running the national office, handling administration, event management PR and support work. “The type of people I work with are good for the industry, they want to get the message out there. The thing is that anyone can grow grass but we are about educating farmers on how to utilise the grass, because at the end of the day the cheapest from of feed is grass.” “The time I spend interacting with farmers is very important, as I am the continuous face of the organisation, as the council term changes every three years.”
Donal works fulltime managing the Skidoo Pedigree Charolais Herd so Maura helps him as much as she can with their farm at their home. They also have a farm in Cavan and they keep sucklers, breed pedigree limousine cattle and Irish sport horses.
Maura’s passion is baking and has won many prizes. “Family, friends, food and farming are what I love.”
If you would like to contact Maura in the office click here
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