Michelle Stephenson, 27, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is a full-time assistant land agent for Bell Ingram in Aberdeen and is a Next Generation representative for her local NFU branch.
I was not raised on a farm but I helped out with neighbours and attended the Scottish Agricultural College, where I studied a diploma in agriculture in 2011, before I went onto to study a BSc Hons in rural resource management and a postgraduate diploma in rural estate and land management. All three of these courses, are relevant to my work and farm life.
I work full-time as an assistant land agent for Bell Ingram in Aberdeen, also putting full shifts on the farm alongside my trusty kelpie cross collie, Flossie, with a flock of 600 breeding ewes. I bought an 35-hectare farm in 2017 and, because it was mainly an arable unit, it has taken time to convert it back to a grassland unit. I also rent 25ha next door.
My day-to-day work with Bell Ingram involves valuations, estate management, acting on behalf of landowners affected by Compulsory Purchase Orders, particularly the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, and providing agricultural advice.
I love the fact every day is so different and I get to deal with such a variety of farm businesses. Thankfully, I am able to take my holidays over lambing time (April/May). I lamb the ewes inside polytunnels and aim to turn them out in fine weather.
I am the Next Generation representative for my local NFU branch and I am looking forward to giving my input and helping new entrants get a foot in the door. I am keen to see young people start in agriculture as there are so many avenues they can take.
I was recently elected onto the National Sheep Association committee and I am excited to input and expand people’s awareness of the sheep industry.
I was asked by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) to become one of their Lambassadors. I attended a workshop where we received training about QMS and social media use.
I love eating Scotch Lamb and love promoting it on social media. I run the @insta_glamb Instagram page, highlighting life on-farm and the different ways to cook with Scotch Lamb.
Recently, we had been hosting sheepdog training days, where people pay for a slot with the trainer. I looking forward to seeing this grow when normality once again resumes, as there is a huge demand for training dogs and trailing.