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LAMMA 2019

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Young farmer focus: 'I think Brexit could bring opportunities'

Emily Saunders, 25, works on an open farm in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, and has a small flock of Mule sheep. She is originally from a non-farming background.

Engagement: The farm I work on is open to the public every day, 50 weeks of the year. Having the public through the gates is great, as we can educate them about farming.

 

We have a lot of school groups visiting the farm and it is surprising to learn some children do not know where their food comes from.

 

My typical day starts with cleaning and feeding animals and, once we open to the public, it is time for a bit of engagement.

 

Most people want to know about the animals and their origins.

 

We have many animals on-farm, including a herd of Beef Shorthorns and a flock of Kerry Hill and Whiteface Woodland sheep.

 

There are also llamas, wallabies, goats and horses.

 

In February, we start lambing and calving, which is usually a busy time for us, as we have a lot of visitors coming to see new arrivals.

 

Development: As well as working on-farm, I am also on a farm management development programme, ran through Bishop Burton College and the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

 

I am halfway through the course and have covered topics such as diversification, gross margins and costs, and leadership skills.

 

This has been extremely beneficial to me, as one day I hope to become a farm manager.

 

As well as the challenging work, I have made some great connections with people throughout the agricultural industry and gained invaluable knowledge.

 

This year I am also looking forward to starting the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation, which is a programme of workshops and supply chain visits, which I am sure will only add more knowledge and connections.

 

Opportunity: Looking to the future, I think Brexit could bring plenty of opportunities. With potential cuts in funding, I think the industry will have to strive to be more efficient.

 

I think it could also attract new entrants, who could bring in innovative ideas.

 

I would also like to expand my own flock of sheep.

 

In the long-term, I want to take agriculture into schools, as in this uncertain time, I do not think it has ever been so important to educate the next generation about farming and food.


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Young Farmer Focus: Hannah Fulford, 19 - 'Agriculture has a wide range of opportunities, and Brexit will offer more along the way' Young Farmer Focus: Hannah Fulford, 19 - 'Agriculture has a wide range of opportunities, and Brexit will offer more along the way'
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Young Farmer Focus: Stephanie Dick - 'Being a young woman in farming has challenges but there are so many opportunities' Young Farmer Focus: Stephanie Dick - 'Being a young woman in farming has challenges but there are so many opportunities'

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