Derry and Donegal farmers to feature on ‘Rare Breed’

A Limavady pig farmer and a Donegal farmer who works several hundred acres straddling the border are to feature on the second episode of ‘Rare Breed’.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 8:01 pm
Alastair Crown.
Alastair Crown.

After a successful first episode meeting some of the new Rare Breed farming families, UTV viewers get to meet another five new families, including a couple of familiar faces from previous series, in Episode 2 of ‘Rare Breed – A Farming Year’, which airs Tuesday, January 18 at 7.30pm.

This is the 10th season and 14 families in total from across Northern Ireland will give us an inside view of the ups and downs of their year in 2021. Rare Breed takes viewers into the heart of the farming world, giving a unique insight into one of Northern Ireland’s largest and oldest industries.

The second episode kicks off with 34-year-old Alastair Crown who farms in the shadow of Binevenagh mountain, near Limavady.

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Jamie Rankin.

In 2012 Alastair ditched a career in IT to start pig farming. Now he produces cold meats and deli products. In February, Alastair is checking on how his pigs are faring in the icy, winter weather.

Near Ballycarry overlooking Larne Lough, Rachael and Mervyn Garrett took up part time farming seven years ago. They have built a quality Dexter cattle herd alongside a sheep enterprise of crossbred ewes. In February, they are scanning sheep to find out how busy they will be at lambing season.

Near Cloon in Donegal, Jamie Rankin is a third-generation farmer. He works several hundred acres that straddle the border between counties Derry and Donegal. In February Jamie is grading his premium potatoes that are sold to supermarkets and in more normal times – restaurants and hotels.

Near Comber in Down, Trevor Gabbie is a leading supplier of young plants to growers across the island of Ireland. He’s passionate about what he does, producing more than 50 million seedlings a year. Trevor has an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything there is to know about seeds and vegetables – he is passionate about his work.

Finally the show revisita The McKeevers from a previous Rare Breed series, who are renowned apple farmers from outside Portadown in Armagh. They produce a range of products from their apples such as cider and juices. It’s a family business and in February Pat, son Peter, and grandson Ryan are busy inspecting and pruning their trees. They can get a bit competitive about their work.

UTV’s Mark McFadden once again narrates the series. Sponsored by Moy Park, ‘Rare Breed’ – A Farming Year starts on Tuesday, January 18 at 7.30pm on UTV.