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Young Farmer Focus: Francesca Metherell, Bude, Cornwall

dairyYoung farmersBrexit

Dairy: Although I am not from a home farm, a love for animals and getting stuck in has meant I always found farming work nearby.

 

I have worked with various systems, predominantly dairy, starting as a calf rearer on my uncle’s robotic dairy farm.

 

I have spent the last two-and-a-half years relief milking on a small local herd as well as lambing during my Easter breaks from university.

 

Social: I recently came back to university after a long summer touring Canada, New Zealand and the west coast of America.

 

I am now finding myself sitting in the library longing for the days when I could finish at 1pm and begin preparing for a Wednesday night at the Student Union bar.

 

I have started my research project, a nutrition trial with the dairy herd at Harper Adams.

 

Animal nutrition is a great interest of mine and the project is giving me real hands on experience.

 

TB: Coming from Cornwall the stories from home are often the same – TB, and it is still raining.

 

Cornwall has recently come under the media spotlight with the badger cull well underway in some areas of the country.

 

I personally find it reassuring that something, whether it makes an impact or not, is being done, though as a young person in farming I can see how such issues can make agriculture less appealing.

 

When my employer came into the parlour at 6am to tell me another seven cows had been taken because of TB it made my stomach sink, so I hope I can be here to see the eradication of the disease.

 

Despite the woes of farming I feel there is still a passion burning in young people, maybe now more than ever, to be heard and to make a change whilst doing what they love.

 

Brexit: Brexit, a word so widely used that is has almost become worn out like the tatty pair of overalls you cannot seem to get rid of.

 

It raises a range of questions; will I be able to rent those 16 hectares (40 acres) off my neighbour for £50 less? Will we import any less New Zealand lamb? Could we export Cornish pasties to China?

 

There are definitely uncertain times ahead but this does not mean negative times – I am sure new doors will open as old ones shut.

Let us hope the Government remembers agriculture in their decision making.

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