Cork farmer raising cancer awareness with colourful hay bales

A couple who run a large dairy farm outside Cork city have wrapped their bales of hay in pink and yellow plastic to ‘donate to and raise awareness of breast and childhood cancer’.

Peter Hynes said the idea came to him and his wife after they won Farmer of the Year in 2017.

“We have three daughters so I live in a house full of women and breast cancer is something I would be aware of, it affects so many.

Peter and Paula with their three daughters

“When my wife and I won the award, we thought well, it’s time to think about what we can do to help,” explains Peter.

The couple started using pink bale wrap from a company called Trioplast, which makes a donation to Breast Cancer Now for every roll purchased.

“It’s not just about raising money through donations, it’s about getting people curious, like a field full of pink hay bales would, so they google it and start reading about breast cancer,” explains Peter.

The family, who runs a large farm in Aherla that supplies the Dairygold cooperative, also decided to use yellow bale wrap to support people with childhood cancer.

They use yellow wrap for the benefit of pediatric cancer services

“For people who have survived cancer, or have cancer, or have lost someone to it, they will immediately know what our hay bales mean, and we hope they feel supported and put a smile on their face,” explains Peter. .

The family has started receiving social media posts from people who are curious as they have never used pink and yellow wraps in one field.

The Hynes family has raised $100,000 to support cancer services since they began fundraising in 2017, with $26,000 in the past year.

“A few years ago we had a great open day at the farm to raise money and I met a nurse who works with breast cancer patients who told me that if we had enough money and time to raise awareness of breast cancer, but very few people die from the disease,” said Peter.

“That made me determined to keep going and come up with new ways to raise money and awareness because you don’t know who could save it,” he added.

Now the family plans to display bright blue bales of hay in their fields to benefit prostate cancer services, and they want to plan red carpet-style fundraising events after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“Ultimately it’s all about brightening people’s minds and creating a bit of a buzz. We can’t wait to get back to planning in-person fundraising events when we can,” said Peter.

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