Contractors – Watch the trailer for the new TV series featuring a teacher, sheep shearer and John Deere fan

Limerick woman Karen O'Donoghue has been working with her father's Agri Contracting business since she was 16 years old.  They do all kinds of work such as precision chop silage, round & square baling, raking, tedding, slurry spreading, dumper hire, wrapping and stacking bales and plowing and tillage work.  Now with baby Clodagh in tow, Karen still remains stone mad for John Deeres!
Limerick woman Karen O’Donoghue has been working with her father’s Agri Contracting business since she was 16 years old. They do all kinds of work such as precision chop silage, round & square baling, raking, tedding, slurry spreading, dumper hire, wrapping and stacking bales and plowing and tillage work. Now with baby Clodagh in tow, Karen still remains stone mad for John Deeres!

And, as you can see from the trailer, there’s a lot of work to be done from April to September as farming enters its busiest six months.

So, they turn to farming contractors and their families.

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Contractors is a seven fascinating-part documentary series exploring the working lives and personal narratives of seven agricultural contracting families from diverse locations.

It features crews from Limerick, Kerry, Meath, Tipperary, Galway, Donegal and Clare, who share their professional challenges, the high and lows of their daily routine and their hopes and dreams.

Without them, fields would be unploughed and unseeded, slurry would be unspread, silage would be uncut and hedgerows would descend into chaos.

Culturally and economically, farming is Ireland’s oldest and most resilient industry.

The Farrelly brothers Peter and Pat (pictured) from Kells in Meath have been in the contracting business for over 40 years. From pit silage to plowing, sowing seeds to site clearances, they have around 20 people working for them and the hard work never stops!

For the 137,000 families whose livelihoods depend on it, farming is a full-on, full-time job.

But a few farmers have the time, the manpower or the expensive specialist plant required to do it.

And so, they call on the services of 1,800 agricultural contractors from all around the country.

Every year, and in all weathers, these hard-working men and women arrive with 20,000 tractors and harvesters, €150 million worth of agricultural machinery and 10,000 full and part-time operators to get the job done.

Peadar Seoighe, a sheep shearer and contractor from Galway has been in the contracting business for about six years. From lime spreading to topping and spraying rushes, Peadar has built an agri contracting business based upon the size of enterprise in the hills of Corr na Móna along with his competent sheep dog called Lindsey who him get the job done!

The contractors will deal with the massive pressures of a seasonal industry requiring huge investment in equipment, long hours, unpredictable schedules and skilled workers and operators that are often hard to find.

Timeframes are short, fuel is expensive, bad weather can derail a season and red tape can reduce a workforce to critical levels.

With an English mix of Irish culture, heritage and contemporary society presented in the Irish Language, featuring many strong female-led enterprises and female centre, this series will be a melting pot of all ages and generations.

Contractors are the heartbeat of rural Ireland – crucial players in a food-producing sector that is central to Ireland’s economy.

Eoin Ó Muircheartaigh from West Kerry runs a beef and sheep farm. He also carries out baled silage, slurry spreading with trailing shoe, a small bit of plowing and reseeding grassland. From modest beginnings with just one tractor and a baler he has now upsized to employing up to four lads in the busy summer months.

Over the course of the seven episodes – each one defined by a separate theme based on the time of year and the work involved – we will intercut between the personal lives and daily routines of our protagonists.

As the series progresses, we’ll get to know them as we become invested in the challenges they face both on and off the job.

Set against the backdrop of each contract will be the weddings, family crises, pub quizzes, study regimes, demanding siblings and the kitchen sink drama of real life, as well as the opportunity to discuss and deal with issues such as farm safety, climate change , the changing role of the farmer and discussing other controversial topics that may arise and evolve as we go.

Don’t miss Contractors on TG4, beginning 24 February at 9.30pm.

Secondary school teacher, Eoin Collins from Clare is part of Collins Agri, a business his father started in 1994. Alongside his father and three brothers, they specialise in silage, baling, tillage and slurry.
Tipperary man Thomas Moloney runs Moloney Agri and Tree Care along with his father Jim. They do silage work such as mowing, tedding, raking and baling of silage hay and straw using round and square bales as well as slurry spreading using low emission trailing shoes. Digger and dump trailer work is also a service they provide as well as tree surgery work carried out by certified operators. They are award winning contractors!
The Farrelly brothers Peter (pictured) and Pat from Kells in Meath have been in the contracting business for over 40 years. From pit silage to plowing, sowing seeds to site clearances, they have around 20 people working for them and the hard work never stops!
Alastair Doherty from Donegal runs Bobby Doherty Agri, a company started by his father over 40 years ago. They have 130 dairy cows and supply their milk to Aurivo-Co-Op. When the milking is done Alastair and crew are out and about spreading slurry, plowing, reseeding, round baling and cleaning septic tanks. With eight Massey Fergusons at his disposal there’s no better man for the job!

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