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Young farmer focus: "I am now able to say I am a farming woman"

 Alice Dixon, 20, is a farmworker on a dairy goat farm. She has recently completed a foundation degree in dairy herd management at Reaseheath College.

Background: Despite the fact all of my life now revolves around farming, it is a relatively new thing to me.

 

I was born and brought up in Wrexham, North Wales, and apart from the occasional visits to family farms in Lancashire, this way of life was initially very alien.

 

Visits to the countryside were quite literally a breath of fresh air for me.

 

The smells and sounds of this beautiful area was a world away from the people and pollution of a large town; they allowed me to rest and enjoy myself.

 

I have very strong recollections of repeatedly telling my parents that when I grew up I wanted to be a farmer’s wife – little did I know I would be the one farming.

 

Community: We moved up to Garstang in April 2010 and I found myself slowly integrating into the local farming community.

 

It was through this, and my love of horses, that I made strong friendships which resulted in securing my first farm job while still at high school.

 

Looking back on it now I realise how inexperienced and nervous I was on a working farm but at the time, it was the best thing in the world: I was finally able to work with and learn about dairy cows.

 

The many other aspects of farming which I was originally unaware of began to open my eyes to the incredible way of life.

 

I had never before felt the suckle of a hungry calf on my fingers, or been out in the fields during the rush to get the harvest in before the rain hit again.

 

The sense of community and passion to work with the land caused me to fall in love with this way of life.

 

Career: Realising I wanted to be a part of this industry prompted me to choose farming as not just a passion, but also as a career.

 

After leaving high school I went on to do my Level 3 Extended Diploma in agriculture at Myerscough College.

 

Even though I found it a challenge as a beginner, and a woman entering into a very male-dominated industry, I settled in quickly.

 

My good grades allowed me to carry on my education at Reaseheath College, Cheshire, and I have recently completed my foundation degree in dairy herd management.

 

It has been a privilege and a delight to learn about this incredible industry and it is with enormous pride I am able to say I am a farming woman.

 

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