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Young Farmer Focus: Emily McGowan – ‘I have an endless desire to develop the farm’

Emily McGowan, 21, helps her father on the family farm with 200 commercial ewes, two Moy Park chicken houses and 162 hectares (400 acres) of cereals and vegetables.

 

This month she will be opening the farm’s first farm shop.

Farming: I am the youngest daughter of three in the McGowan family; my eldest sister Susie is a graphic designer and Victoria is a primary school teacher.

 

I have always had a big involvement on the farm with my father, and luckily enough I have been the little farmer’s son he was always looking for.

 

I am proud to say that I initiated the development of our two Moy Park chicken sheds that produce higher welfare chicken for Waitrose, along with expanding our commercial ewe flock over the past few years.

 

Being a young woman in the agricultural industry is becoming more common and it gives me an endless desire to develop the farm into an even more successful business.

 

I think young business women are finally becoming more respected and listened to in the farming world, which is so thrilling to be a part of.


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Next generation: Millbank Farm is a sixth generation family farm, established in 1889.

 

The farm has been through many transformations in its time – producing everything from cattle, to sheep, to poultry, as well as growing a wide range of vegetables.

 

The most recent development as the younger generation of the family is my new venture – Millbank Farm Shop.

 

I have just landed home following an extremely worthwhile 10-month placement with Mudwalls Farm in Warwickshire, while studying agri food marketing with business at Harper Adams University.

 

While working with Mudwalls Farm, I have been at the forefront of the British fresh produce industry as well as getting an insight into what makes a farm shop successful.

 

Having had this experience, my shop will be opening its doors on Saintfield Main Street, Co Down, on June 22, 2019, and will provide fresh fruit, vegetables and local produce that are produced solely for quality and flavour.

Shop: The past few weeks have been extremely busy on the farm preparing for the farm shop opening and for our first year being involved with the Open Farm weekend, June 14 to 16.

 

There have been long days planting a whole range of crops from celery to peas and beans, to dosing the all of the ewes, getting the yard looking spick and span and finishing the interior design of the shop.

 

There is never a boring day here at Millbank.

 

Hobbies: Moving away from the farm, my main hobby is horse riding. Thanks to my mother Patricia, it has taken me all over the UK to some fabulous shows, the most recent being Balmoral Show, where I was Working Hunter Connemara champion.

 

The next big trip is to the Great Yorkshire Show in July. Let’s call that our summer holiday.

 

Personally, I think maintaining a healthy body and mind is a crucial aspect to being successfully in today’s modern agricultural industry.

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