Clare farmers say the physical demands of a career in the dairy sector are becoming ‘unsustainable’ for many aging workers.
It comes as new research has revealed the majority of male farmers are viewing asking for help as an admission of failure.
The study in the American Journal of Men’s Health involved input from 11 focus groups of both male and female farmers.
Participants expressed views that male farmers feel obliged to put ‘their bodies on the line’ as part of their job, in spite of potential health consequences.
Others felt those in the progession would avoid getting health concerns checked for fear of what would be discovered.
In this county, though, the agricultural sector appears worried that the rising average age of workers – now 55 in Ireland – is leading to physical labour becoming ‘unsustainable’.
General Secretary of the Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers’ Association and Cratloe farmer, Eddie Punch, says expanding demand is leading to physical distress for farmers.
The Clare Chair of the Beef Plan Group believes it’s smaller farmers that are suffering the most, as they don’t have enough income to hire extra help.
Joseph Woulfe says a lack of minimum pricing is impacting on farmers nationwide.
The Quilty man says it means those struggling financially will also be forced into taking on greater physical burdens.