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Young Farmer Focus: Heather Fox - 'We get bad press as an industry and this is our chance to show the truth'

Heather Fox, 26, is a full-time dairy farmer, milking 100 cows on the tenanted family farm. She studied dairy herd management at Reaseheath College, Cheshire.

History: My family has been dairy farming for three generations now. My parents had their own tenancy in Leicestershire, where my brothers and I grew up.

 

In 2008, we hit hard times and made the difficult decision to give up our tenancy. Shortly after that, I realised farming was for me.

 

I have worked on a lot of different farms in the past 10 years, from the Lake District to New Zealand, but in May 2018, after many attempts, we were successful in getting a farm of our own again.

 

Women in agriculture: When I am not working, I am normally found on the end of a tug of war rope for Upper Eden Tug of War Club.

 

As a young woman in agriculture, I have found that while it has its challenges, I enjoy proving people wrong and showing them I can do everything a man can do in this industry.


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I have learned so much from the farms I have worked on and have taken something from every experience.

 

Open Farm Sunday: This year we are opening our farm up for the first time to do Open Farm Sunday.

 

As a family, we love this concept, allowing the public to come and engage with us and see what we do on a daily basis.

 

I think we get a lot of bad press as an industry and this is our chance to show the truth, to open up our human side and show how much we care for our animals.

 

You hear so many false facts about farming, especially on social media, and I think it is important we make our voices heard, but in the right way.

 

My family has always believed in educating the next generation, and I fully embrace it.

 

We started with local primary schools coming to our farm in Leicestershire. These are the people we need to target; if we can tell them the facts early, they can make informed decisions.

 

There is nothing like the joy of a child who has never seen, let alone touched, a lamb or cow, or tasted fresh milk.

 

As new entrants, we want people to see where we are now and come along on our journey as we grow, to take away some new perspective and some of the produce we sell on-farm.

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