PEOPLE IN AG UK APRIL 2018 | ISSUE 2
Spring part of lifeandthecows
In this issue... 04
03 Welcome 04 Will Evans - Rock n Roll Farming 09 Dave Herbert - Hermit Crab Eggs
Column - Is farming female friendly?
Katie Anderson - Muddy Boots Farm
About the cover star
Get in touch... @lifeandthecows @agri_em PeopleInAgUK email@example.com
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Welcome back to People In Ag UK, and happy spring to you all! I still can't believe just how successful the first issue was when it came out in January, and I'd like to thank everyone again for their initial and ongoing support with the project.
It has been a busy two months putting this second issue together. I've been tied up with assignments, dissertation work, and a whole host of other speed bumps that cropped up along the way since being back for the spring term, but now that this second issue of People in Ag UK is with you, I can finally relax a little. When choosing the release date for the second issue, I kind of just plucked a date out of thin air, and hoped that I'd manage to have the issue ready. Little did I realise that 4 years ago to the day I started my
blog, lifeandthecows. What a long way the blog has come since then! It started out as the ramblings of an 18 year old, just starting out in the dairy industry, and today it is the slightly more informed ramblings of a 22 year old who is about to finish a degree and venture off in to the real world.
With all of the appalling weather that we have recently had, my social media platforms were absolutely flooded (no pun intended) with the public thanking their rural heroes for their help clearing roads and digging out stranded vehicles. Farming isn't just a job, it's a way of life and a community and I think a lot of people remembered this during the bad weather.
A lot can change in 4 years, and indeed a lot has changed since 2014. The UK voted to leave the European Union, Theresa May took on the role of Prime Minister and Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America to name but a few of the most memorable events. The use of social media has become more and more routine for most people and this issue of People in Ag UK looks at the ever growing community of farmers online, how social media is shaping public perception of farming, and what the main opportunities and challenges are of using social media.
New for the Spring edition is 'About the cover star.' I asked you guys to send in your favourite spring pictures for a chance to be featured on the cover, and a feature on the winner can be found before the closing remarks. I hope you enjoy our Spring issue, and as always, please get in touch via email, Facebook or Twitter if you would like to feature. Best wishes,
Emily Hickman Editor
Rock & Roll Farming
For Will Evans, who farms in North Wales, 2017 was a year of firsts as he launched a farming podcast and won a prestigious British Faming Award. His podcast ‘Rock & Roll Farming’ celebrated its first birthday in March 2018, and during the first year he has spoken to a number of influential and knowledgeable people in the industry, helping people to get to know the people that produce their food.
The podcast... Having listened to podcasts on subjects such as history and sport for a number of years, and finding American and Canadian podcasts for farming, Will noticed that there was nothing of the sort in the UK. “I thought about the idea of starting a podcast, and realised that if I set my mind to it I’d be able to make it happen. If I didn’t do it someone else would and it would have been something that I always regretted. It all came together very quickly, I didn’t have any kind of big, grand plan, I just thought of a name over a bottle of wine with my wife, made a logo and started looking at YouTube tutorials to learn how to make podcasts.” Within the next two weeks, Will had messaged about 20 people asking if they would be interested in being interviewed for the podcast. Will thought that the first interview with James Robinson (@JRfromStrickley) was the best place to start, as the two were friends through Twitter and James was an entertaining character. Finding the balance between his family, the farm and the podcast is difficult, but Will finds the motivation to keep the podcast going because of his love of interviewing. “I have four young girls between the ages of 2 and 7 and a wife, and I like spending as much time as I possible can with them. The farm is a mixed farm, so we are busy all year round meaning that there aren’t any quiet lulls for us throughout the year. The majority of the work on the podcast is done at night once the kids have gone to bed, which means that often it is at the end of a very long day. I enjoy it, so that’s the motivation for me to find the time, I get the opportunity to speak to some cool and interesting people. I really look forward to speaking to them and I always learn a lot, its genuinely a really good hour and I get excited about it.” Putting the podcasts together is time consuming, and Will estimates that each episode can take anywhere between 5 and 6 hours by the time he has done his research, thought of his questions, done the interview and edited the podcast. 54 podcasts in, Will says it’s hard to choose a favourite. “I’ve enjoyed all of the episodes I’ve done for different reasons. I really enjoy the ones that make me laugh, although I didn’t realise that I had a laugh like an excited 8-year-old school girl until I started doing the podcasts. If I had to pick one interview to call my favourite it would have to be my interview with Colin Javens (011 Ever Onwards & Ever Upwards). Colin was in my year at Harper and at the end of our first year he dived off a harbour while he was working on a summer job in the Isle of White. He shattered his vertebrae and since then he has been pretty much paralysed. The things he’s achieved since his accident and the money that he has raised for spinal research is amazing. I over use the word inspiring a lot on the podcast, but Colin is probably the most incredible and inspiring man that I know.”
5 The award... In 2017, Will won the British Farming Award for Digital Innovator of the Year after being nominated by a Twitter friend Suzanna (@ZwartblesIE). “I received a pretty cryptic message of Suzanna asking for my email address, but I didn’t really think much of it because she can be quite mischievous. When the email came through to say that I had been nominated for the award, I didn’t really want to apply because the thought of having to walk on stage to collect the award if I won was daunting. Eventually I decided to go for it, and won the award. The whole experience was incredible, there were about 600 people at the awards ceremony, it was very glitzy, there was a red carpet and cameras and it felt like the Oscars. I got to meet a lot of people that I’d only met online before and the whole experience was incredible. When I was announced as the winner it was incredible surreal, and it felt like I was having some kind of out of body experience. A friend of mine was actually videoing at the time and the look on my face when I was announced as the winner was just a look of absolute shock. I was interviewed just after I received the award, and when I watched it back I realised that I was talking at about 500mph because it was all so surreal. I was really, really happy to win, thrilled even, and my parents were really happy as well. My dad doesn’t show his emotions very often but he actually said he was proud of me.”
Will also runs a blog, ‘Father and Farmer’, where he talks about raising his four young daughters on the family farm. “I think the main reason that I started blogging was because I was really active on Twitter, which was really limiting in terms of character counts, and I wanted to expand on a lot of the stuff that I was saying, and post more pictures. I’ve always been a huge reader and my family are quite literate. My grandma was very literary and she instilled this in me. I left school as soon as I could and I thought blogging was an incredible way to make up for that. I was nervous about
the first post going out, but I received a lot of good feedback which kept me going. It was definitely worth doing as it opened up the door to other things for me like writing a Farmers Weekly Column, and I know that it will be good to look back on in years to come.”
In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of farmers that are using social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Will himself has over 9,000 followers on Twitter and connects with them most days. “I think social media has been a bit of a game changer for the farming industry, and a perfect example of this has been over spring when the weather has been particularly bad. When you work on farm you can often be on your own for long periods of time and it can be pretty lonely, but with social media you can connect to like minded people with the click of an app. For rural isolation, social media is a big step forward, and this is one of the biggest things I’ve found with the podcast, so many people have wanted to talk about mental health because so many people go through times of anxiety. Social media is great for learning too, everyone is really keen to share knowledge and I know from my own experience that I’ve been able to learn a lot from some really smart people by asking questions. Group chats are amazing too for sharing knowledge and ideas. You can get out of that local bubble and talk to and learn from farmers from anywhere across the world, you couldn’t do this a few years ago. I’ve been so lucky to meet a lot of people that I’ve known from Twitter and the most amazing thing about it is that they have all been exactly how I thought they would have been.”
Brexit is one of the topics that dominates a lot of conversation currently, and Will had some really interesting thoughts on the subject. “It’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? I voted to remain, but having said that I’m not one of the people that are trying to reverse the decision, in my mind we just need to get on and make a success of it. I think there will be some serious short term challenges, and clarity is needed for the industry, we need to know which way things are going to go. Michael Gove is talking a lot about the environment and we hear a lot about a Green Brexit, but at the same time we hear a lot about the UK falling behind in terms of productivity and the need to catch up with countries like the US, but ultimately these two strategies aren’t compatible with each other. My worry is that we won’t be able to keep up, and an environmental set up would be good because of the landscape that we have in the UK. What we need is a workable environmental scheme, currently there is so much red tape that the environmental schemes are barely financially profitable unless you have a lot of woodland. Any plans that are put in place need to be profitable. I think that there are going to be opportunities if people are flexible and open to change. Hopefully there will be more opportunities for young people to get into farming if the subsidy system is reformed and I think we need to look at countries like New Zealand where there are better routes up the farming system. At the moment, British farmers have no idea where we will be in two years, which is unsettling as we are buying in calves at the moment that will be sold on in two years. There will be winners and losers, but ultimately our voices need to be heard, and I think we really need to support the NFU.”
Will’s young family of four daughters aged between 2 and 7 keeps him busy, and he couldn’t be happier to be raising the girls on a farm. “Safety is a big issue on farms these days, so obviously you have to be very careful, but at the same time I want them to be with me on the farm to reap the benefits. They enjoy feeding the calves with their grandfather and helping to collect the eggs from the chickens, and the eldest is starting to do regular jobs on the farm. It’s such a privileged upbringing, they’re free to run around, make as much noise as they want and go off on adventures. There are four of them, so I’d like to think that at least one of them might end up working in agriculture but I’m not going to pressure any of them into it. If they wanted to come back and work on the farm, I’d definitely encourage them to go away for a few years and come back with new ideas.” Will has a few things in the pipeline going forwards, and one if his plans is to keep expanding the podcast. “The podcast is the easiest way to show of some really cool and interesting people to the world. I’d love to grow the non farming audience, but its trying to find the balance to keep it appealing to both the farming and the non-farming audience that it challenging. I’m trying to keep it exciting, and I’ve got a lot of exciting people lined up to come on and talk to me.”
Rock & Roll Farming can be streamed from the website and is available on iTunes http://rockandrollfarming.libsyn.com Follow Will on twitter: @willpenrievans
Hermit Crab Eggs: first dates, heartbreak and helping hands Dave Herbert of Hermit Crab Eggs in Ynysduu, South Wales, spoke to People in Ag UK on everything from naming his small holding to losing his flock at the start of 2018 and his journey rebuilding the flock with the help of people from all around the world. Now the most successful Egg Exhibitor in the whole of Wales with just over 500 awards in five years, Dave Herbert is a force to be reckoned with, but Hermit Crab Eggs comes from a small, humble beginning with Dave taking his dog to local agricultural shows to compete. “When I used to visit the local ag shows with the dog I would often look at the chickens and realised they could provide me with a taste of the good life. After begging my wife, Sarah, for chickens for a while she eventually bought me three for Valentine’s Day in 2013. Before we got married, Sarah and I toyed with the idea of having a double barrelled surname. I was Dave Herbert and she was Sarah Crabb, but we decided that Herbert-Crab sounded too similar to Hermit Crab. When we started the flock Hermit Crab Eggs just made sense as the name. Hermit Crab was the name of a wine we had enjoyed on one of our very first dates and the name was unique enough to get people talking and asking questions.” Hermit Crab Eggs is made up of a variety of breeds of chickens and ducks and Dave primarily choses the breeds with a focus on the egg showing team, looking for breeds that lay particular colours and sizes of eggs. The three original birds were two bluebells and a black rock, and one of these original bluebells took Reserve Champion Egg at Wessex show just a few weeks ago – not bad for a five-year-old! Birds are bought in at all lifecycle stages, from eggs in incubators, day old chicks and birds at point of lay depending on what gaps need filling in the business.
Keeping chickens and ducks is certainly rewarding for Dave, but the most enjoyable thing for him is having the connection to food production. “The primary thing for me is being outside, I love any excuse to be outside. I like the fact that chickens are so easy to get on with. I like politics and things like that but I wouldn’t ever express this on Twitter because it can cause a lot of arguments. If I’v e got something like that on my mind I’l l speak to the birds, they wont block me or delete me! I’d say that for anyone that wants to feel more connected to their food eggs and chickens are a great place to start, and they are definitely a gateway to much bigger things.” The start of 2018 was a particularly heart-breaking time for Hermit Crab Eggs as 86% of the flock was taken out by a fox, and since then Dave has had to overcome some sizeable challenges to secure the future of the business.
“The hardest thing for me was losing the stock. As a poultry keeper or a shepherd you are ultimately responsible for the lives in your care, and in the UK we place the utmost responsibility on health and welfare of our animals. The hardest thing about the situation was knowing that the lives of my birds had been lost over something that I did or didn’t do, and in that moment everything that the chickens had given me was gone. I didn’t have the energy to clear up and start again. I eventually posted the incident on Twitter to remind people to remain vigilant and the response was overwhelming. I had messages from people all across the world offering their help and support, and at the start I was apprehensive to take the help of others because in my mind there were much bigger problems in the world than a Welshman losing his chickens to a fox, but thanks to the
the generosity of others we're back up and running and the future is looking good for us.” As far as favourite breeds go, A Muscovy duck or a White Leghorn chicken are the top of Dave’s list, commenting that although the White Leghorn looks an average bird, they lay the most incredible eggs. Incredible eggs are the reason that Dave has won 500 awards for showing eggs since 2013, travelling up and down the country to get to shows, making him Wales’s most successful Egg Exhibitor. Dave’s ambition is to become the best in the world. February was a turning point for Dave, who swapped sugar loaded energy drinks for pints of milk in a bid to support Februdairy and kick his habit. When I spoke to Dave he was still drinking milk as an energy drink replacement, and was 62
11 days clean of energy drinks! “It’s been surprisingly easy for me, milk is an amazing drink full of nutrients and protein, and it contains natural sugars which help to keep my energy up. I’m drinking roughly 6 pints a day and not only am I supporting the UK dairy industry and feeling healthier, but I’v e lost weight and what I used to think was a gluten intolerance has disappeared now that I’v e knocked the energy drinks on the head.” “I think it would have been nice to see some more media support for the campaign. It was always going to be a hard fight against militant campaigners, but I think it was brilliant the way that the dairy farmers were trying to be completely open and honest about everything, the dairy industry did a fantastic job. Obviously vegans have a right to be vegan, and of course they have the right to try and change the opinions of others, but I think its worth them remembering that when you are trying to influence others to change their lifestyle you need to give people a balanced argument. I don’t think the online attacks by the more extremist vegans really achieved that much, if anything a lot of people were distancing themselves from the arguments. When people lead with a personal attack the whole calibre of their argument is diminished. I think Gareth Wyn Jones is setting a fantastic example – he is incredibly patient and explains openly why he does what he does and even invites vegans onto his farm so they can gain a better understanding about how farming works.”
Social media has played a big part in the Hermit Crab Egg journey. “It seems to be the way forward. It is very easy to engage with your customer IF you engage with them. I’m definitely not always the chirpiest of people and I’m not the easiest to get on with. Twitter has definitely made me a better person, running it from a business perspective makes me very mindful of what I say. Its brilliant how much exposure you can get, and its amazing that you can connect with likeminded, interesting individuals. I think the very best thing about social media is the community that springs up around you, and this was proven after the fox attack. I was very emotional when I realised the amount of support that people were offering, and I’m very thankful for it all.” The long term plan for Hermit Crab Eggs is to develop a business that is financially sustainable, which would allow Dave to step away from his day job and make a full living out of the business and all take full advantage of all of the opportunities Hermit Crab Eggs has offered him. The overall plan is for more chickens, more eggs and more land.
To keep up to date with Dave and Hermit Crab Eggs, follow him on twitter: @hermitcrabeggs
Column - Is farming female friendly? 4 years on.... By Emily Hickman @lifeandthecows
It was four years ago that I started blogging on lifeandthecows, and since then I cannot describe how much has changed not only in my own life, but in the farming industry as a whole. One of my first blog posts was written on the subject of females in farming, and it was written shortly after the appointment of Minette Batters as the Deputy President of the NFU. How quickly those four years have passed, and four years on from the election of Minette Batters as the Deputy President of the NFU, she is now the reigning President of the union. But just how much has changed over the last four years, and has there been any change in the attitude people have towards female farmers? When I made the decision to study agriculture at university, a number of relatives and friends have responded in one of two ways; “But farming is a man’s job” or “I didn’t realise you needed a degree to be a farmer”. I personally chose to study agriculture to allow me to enter a world that is full of prospect, excitement, challenges and travel. Yes farming is a physical occupation, there is no question about that, but I believe that there are more and more openings for females in the farming world, and that the stereotype of farming shouldn’t deter young females from pursuing their agricultural dreams. I think there is also an issue that needs to be addressed with the idea that a career in farming is for those who are not intellectual. After spending the last four years at university studying Agriculture, I can assure you that it is no walk in the park, and I am struggling to think of an occupation where you would have to combine world politics, economics, biology and chemistry to your learning or your job. Between 2010 and 2013, the number of women in farming increased by almost 10%, bringing the total number of women in farming to 28% of the agricultural workforce. At colleges and university, 25% more female students enrolled to study agriculture than men in 2016, and 1/3 of the students studying agriculture at Harper Adams University are female. But is farming female friendly? Are women still stereotyped? Are they ridiculed? Perhaps, but it isn't just in farming that this is the case. Gender pay gaps are prevalent across a wide range of job roles, with HSBC reportedly paying some females 60% less than males in the same roles. In my mind the agricultural industry aren't taking steps in the right direction, they are leaping and bounding in the right direction. I am fortunate to work within an industry that has so much to offer. I am thankful that I work within an industry that is continually progressing and adapting in light of challenges. I am grateful to work within an industry that values new entrants and younger generations in a way that no other industry seems to understand. And I am empowered by the vast number of female farmers that I see making a substantial impact within British agriculture.
TEACHER TURNED FARMER: THE STORY OF MUDDY BOOTS FARM Innovation, determination and passion Trainee teacher turned farmer Katie Anderson, realised that she could combine her love of teaching and her love of animals and the outdoors by opening Muddy Boots Farm, an educational farm for 5-12 year olds based in Essex. “I first experienced looking after livestock at a farm stay in Wales and shortly after this I rehomed some ex caged hens. This was when I realised that I had found my passion. I knew I would do whatever I could to pursue my dream, I just wasn't sure exactly how. I thought perhaps I'd have a little smallholding on the side of being a primary school teacher somewhere rural, but when I studied outdoor education as part of my teaching degree I realised there was actually a way to make a business from my two passions.” Muddy Boots Farm is based on a 1 acre smallholding. On the site there is a disused World War 2 cinema that Katie converted into an indoor classroom/farm shop/toilet and handwashing area. On the farm Katie has pigs, pygmy goats and chickens, as well as turkeys and ducks seasonally. Sheep and lambs are brought down for open days, however as there is limited grazing on the smallholding, Katie rents some land locally for them to graze on. The farm holds hands on sessions with 5-12 year olds, and throughout May to October, the farm is open for Weekend Club, Holiday Club and an After School Club. The farm also holds taster sessions, open days and birthday parties throughout the year. During the open days and parties, families enjoy the farm by helping Katie to feed the animals and take part in fun activities like collecting eggs and playing farm themed games. As long as the children are outdoors having fun and learning a little bit about farming or how to work as a team I know setting up Muddy Boots was worthwhile.
15 Despite being a relatively new entrant into the world of farming, Katie is already leaving her mark and establishing herself as one to watch for the future by being nominated for numerous awards. “The most surprising award was my first ever recognition from Student Farmer magazine when they nominated me as runner up Young Farmer of the Year. It was a complete shock because I had only just got the farm and I hadn't really given the uniqueness of my idea for Muddy Boots Farm much thought, I had just thought 'this is what needs to happen, so I am going to do it' then when someone as prolific as Student Farmer gave me a pat on the back I realised it was actually quite an innovation. For me, the proudest and most exciting moment was going to the British Farming Awards up in Birmingham last year. Travelling up there and meeting all the Twitterfamous farmers was a fantastic experience. I cannot believe I was a finalist in a sea of innovative and experienced farmers, I felt such a fraud! It really made me feel welcome in the farming community and a chance to meet such a diverse and lovely bunch of people was fantastic.”
Katie is very active on social media, and has just short of 2,000 followers on Twitter. “Social media has been a fantastic tool for getting into farming and surviving it. There are many reasons I am so active, obviously it is a great marketing tool for my business and my blog, but it is much more than that to me. Farming can be incredibly isolating and sometimes involves many thankless tasks. Being on Twitter especially opens up the farming community and it's just like walking into the staffroom in a school, it can be a chance to vent to others and share the good and bad experiences with people who have also been through the same things and are fighting the same battles. When you've had a bad day on the farm it's great to be able to share that with other farmers who can empathise with you, and similarly when you've had a good day it's nice for someone to say well done to you. This horrific winter has been a struggle for everyone in the farming world and without social media I think a lot of farmers would have felt completely alone. Moving forward I think social media is becoming a great tool in connecting farmers to the general public. There
seems to be a lots of uneducated hate towards agriculture or misunderstanding of farming because of a lack of knowledge. I use social media to share what I am up to and explain why certain methods are used to help people understand more and perhaps sympathise with farmers rather than fight against them.”
For Katie, the best thing about Muddy Boots Farm is hearing children say “I want to be a farmer when I grow up!” “I know what they want to have as a career as a child will undoubtedly change by the time they get to adulthood but it is still special for a child to have enjoyed their time on the farm so much that they even consider farming as a career in the future. My overall plan is to get more people from non-farming backgrounds to work in agriculture because I know from my own experiences that a lot of people not born into farming believe that a career in agriculture is not even an option for them and that needs to change. Additionally, it is helping children experience things for the first time and find new passions. A lot of the children that visit me have never been on a farm before so it's very special when I ask them to groom a goat for me or collect a freshly laid egg as it's a first for the majority of them. Even those that have visited farms may not have actually gone into the pen with an animal and I'm glad that I can give them the opportunity to experience that.” Currently the spending of particular government departments is being changed or cut, and one sector that has struggled because of these cuts is education. “Coming from a background in education there are a huge amount of changes I would like to implement in the education system - less tests, more outdoor time and more focus on vocational subjects are just some of the changes I think children would benefit from. I think perhaps with the education budgets and restrictions that teachers face however it is not through ignorance but more through financial restraints and report pressures that this is not happening. Until teachers are given a bit more freedom I can't see how realistically they can build agriculture into the curriculum when the focus is core subject and test score reliant. Perhaps farmers need to step in too and with initiatives such as open farm Sunday it can open doors and people's eyes to what farming is really like. I think there is also a social change needed and we need to as a community see farming as a career choice not just as something you do if you’re born into it or marry into it.” “It is extremely scary and daunting being a new entrant in the farming world and I found it incredibly difficult at the start! The first thing I struggled with was being immediately judged before I had been given a chance to prove myself. It is human nature to judge someone off a first meeting and when a 25-year-old girl turns up with no experience wanting to start a farm it was only natural that a lot of people rolled their eyes or laughed at me, but I just had to learn to believe in myself. I have to say however the large majority of people have been lovely and I have been welcomed to the farming community with open arms. Social media has been an extremely helpful tool in learning about farming and having other more experienced farmers to call on has been a huge help.”
17 There is no doubt that farming comes with challenges, and Muddy Boots Farm is no exception to the rule. “I am based on a very small site and I am worried about future expansion. I am stuck at the moment between wanting to do more but not earning enough to fund expansion, yet only being able to earn more by expanding. I am taking it slowly however and after a very hard winter I am glad I have stuck with a smaller site and lower number of animals. I don't want this tough first year to scare me away from getting bigger but it has definitely made me think before letting the business get too big for me.” Alongside Muddy Boots Farm, Katie runs her own blog. “I love writing, so blogging was a natural progression for me! I just really want to offer people a window into the world of farming in an easily accessible way. I think it's important to share the highs and lows and to give a realistic view of farming. There are some people that have an idealistic view of farming and others that will only talk about the hard work involved in farming which can put off people joining the industry. I hope that my blog offers an honest account of the daily life on the farm and helps educate outsiders in the life of a farmer.” Katie is involved in the ‘British Food is Great’ campaign, which is focused on supporting British Farmers and Food Producers. “It’s a brilliant campaign. I am keen for consumers to think more about where their food comes from and how the animals they are eating are treated. Food traceability is extremely important to me and it is a huge part of this campaign so that is why I wanted to be part of it. The campaign is focusing on promoting British food to suppliers and consumers and I think it's already doing a fantastic job. They are helping consumers see what farmers do and simply sharing a photo or video of me on my farm with my animals can open an important line of communication between shoppers and producers.”
Keep updated with Katie's journey and Muddy Boots Farm through Twitter @FemaleFarmerUK @muddybootsfarm Or visit www.muddybootsfarm.com for more information
SUCCESS PADDY WINS RABDF AWARD Final year BSc Agriculture with Animal Science student Paddy Denny recently won the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers Dairy Student of the Year Award, after beating four other students in the final round. This is the fourth year in a row that the award has been won by a student from Harper Adams University. Paddy does not come from a faming background, and he will be finishing his studies at Harper Adams University in June, and is due to graduate in September. The head judge of the competition,
Peter Alvis said that "Paddy had a clear understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities facing the dairy industry in the coming years with great ideas of how to exploit these to benefit the dairy industry." Paddy undertook his 12-month industrial placement with Dale Farming Ltd. Dale Farming Ltd have multiple dairy units across Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Scotland. Paddy was based on a 450 cow autumn block calving unit in Wem, Shropshire, working as a herdsman in a team of three staff.
When he graduates in September, Paddy will begin working as a trainee farm manager for Velcourt in the South West of England. On winning the award, Paddy said, “I am really pleased to receive such a prestigious award, against such a high standard of finalists. I really enjoyed the whole experience and look forward to seeing what doors this award may open for me.”
ons, i t a l u t Congra Paddy
ON TARGET One young lady with an appetite for competition is making her mark for all the right reasons. Georgie Marland, 22, from Sussex is currently in her final year studying Agri-Business at Harper Adams University. Georgie has been an active member of the Harper Adams Clay Pigeon Shooting Club since she was a first year in 2014, and has competed for the club at almost all of the competitions throughout her four years at Harper.
Although shooting is perceived to be a male dominated sport at university level, Georgie is not the only female with the drive to bring home the silverware, and her efforts are matched by that of the Ladies 1st and 2nd teams, which are overseen by Ladies Captain, Charlotte West. The club have had much success at recent competitions both as teams and as individuals, with Georgie winning the Nottingham competition with a score of 71/100 and with the Ladies 1st team taking home the gold as well. Georgie also bagged 2nd place at the Oxford competition in March and the Ladies 1st team also took home 2nd place. It is clear to see that Georgie is an asset to the team, and when speaking with her is is even easier to see her passion for the sport.
eorgie G , s n o i ulat Congrat
"Being part of the shooting club has not just improved my ability but my confidence as well. I have met so many amazing people along the way and I hope the passion and drive of the club continues. I think women are slowly gaining the recognition that they deserve in the sport, and I hope to see the opportunities available to men and women in the sport become more equal in the years to come." Follow the Harper Adams Clay Pigeon Shooting team on instagram to keep up to date with their success...
COVER STAR New beginnings are all about new traditions, and we've found our newest tradition here at People in Ag UK! we want YOU to get involved with each and every issue, and we are starting this by using YOUR pictures on the cover. This issues cover photo was taken by 22 year old Rowan Boardley from Cumbria. As well as being handy with a camera, Rowan has a whole host of other talents and achievements to her name. She was a scholar at the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference, a YFC Nepal Volunteer, and nominee for the Agrovista Placement Student Award.Â Rowan studies BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science at Harper Adams University and will be graduating in September, before heading off to work for Dugdale Nutrition as a Technical Sales Specialist. For submitting the winning cover photo, Rowan wins 1 of 5 printed copies of the People in Ag UK Spring Issue.Â
wan o R , s n o ulati t a r g n o C
There is no doubt at all that social media is a truly valuable resource to the agricultural industry. A tool for tackling rural isolation and connecting with one another. A channel for tackling public ignorance and educating those from non-farming backgrounds. A platform to share ideas and inspire each other in our day to day lives. I didn't realise just how powerful social media could be when I started with People in Ag UK, and I am thankful to live in a digital age, where knowledge, support and empathy is little more than a tap away.
I'd like to thank the 'social media stars' that spoke to me for the Spring issue, and I'd also like to thank and congratulate the two featured individuals on their recent success. Until next time,
Emily Hickman EDITOR
Step into Spring with People in Ag UK. The second issue features 3 'Social Media Stars' of the farming world.
Published on Apr 12, 2018
Step into Spring with People in Ag UK. The second issue features 3 'Social Media Stars' of the farming world.