Of course, the perfect weekend to fly into Ireland is the weekend that Hurricane Ophelia is scheduled to arrive! A once every 40-year occurrence I might add! A long-term goal of mine was to attend the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) training through the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Would I choose Dubai or Dublin? Dublin won out and what an incredible experience it was!
I grew up on a 20,000-acre cattle ranch in Montana and here I was on an island 32,600 square miles in size looking at some of the most regulated, respected and carefully planned agricultural operations I have ever seen. Montana is 147,000 square miles just to give you an idea of the size of Ireland.
Standing on Hill Tara overlooking the Irish countryside, the rich green pastures with their ancient stone fences stretched out in front of me. Not a pivot or wheel-line in sight! Coming from Montana where the average rainfall is 15.34 inches, looking out on this lush green landscape that has rainfall as high as 49 inches in some places but no less than 29 inches across the country, I couldn’t help but appreciate what a little rain can do!
Irishmen and women are incredible stewards of the land. They have to be. It is akin to treason to overgraze and I am not exaggerating. The land belongs to you but also to the Irish people and the nation, and abusing the land is an offense to your country and countrymen.
We have 2.6 million beef cattle in Montana on 28,000 ranches over 59,700,000 acres according to www.mtbeef.org. In Ireland, they have 1.1 million beef cattle on 80,000 farms with the majority of beef exported. I am accustomed to seeing Black Angus dot our landscape in Montana but the primary breed in Ireland is the Charolais. When I told them my family doesn’t do Charolais. . . they are too crazy!They laughed and said, “What do you expect from the French?”
I had tears in my eyes when I left my comrades in Ireland. They are incredibly animated and hospitable people who have a fascination with Montana. International Real Estate is a complex but rewarding field but I can’t imagine a better relationship than that of Ireland and Montana.