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Young Farmer Focus: Laura Wilson - 'I have adapted to many challenges from Covid-19'

Laura Wilson, 23, from Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, is the daughter of a beef farmer and recently joined KW Feeds as assistant blends manager.

Family farm

 

I live on our family beef farm which consists of 320-head of mainly commercial and pedigree Limousin sucklers, spread across two farms.

 

We have grown the herd massively over the last few years and we are now aiming to finish youngstock to the best of our best ability and standards.

 

I spend all my spare time on-farm when I am not working and I also have my own little project of a few Simmental cross calves I am rearing.

 

This has proved to be very rewarding so far and I am hoping to increase the group in the coming months.

 

Assistant blends manager

 

Thankfully, my day job is also heavily involved agriculture-based. I am the assistant blends manager at KW Feeds based in Sherburn, near Leeds, and although I only joined the company in February shortly before Covid-19 reared its head, I have gained so much more knowledge.

 

Most notably, I have had to adapt to a new way of life working from home, as many others have faced the same issue of adapting to the challenges and problems coronavirus has brought.

 

Dairy

 

The industry has faced many challenges in the last few months due to the virus. For example, we have seen many popular businesses closing, such as Starbucks and Costa, which has had a devastating impact on dairy farmers up and down the country.

 

With many thousands of litres of milk being thrown down the drain, I have seen the impact this has had on my job at KW, as many farmers were told by their processors to cut milk production, meaning we had to change blends to incorporate their needs and tonnages daily.


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Beef

 

Meanwhile, beef farmers have also suffered, not only due to the meat sector being so volatile over the last few months, but due to auction markets closing to the general public and sellers, which after speaking to customers and friends, seems to have put people off selling as much as usual.

 

Buying local

 

I am hoping this pandemic will highlight how buying local British produce is not only better nutritionally speaking, but also for the environment, as it reduces food miles and therefore carbon footprint.

 

Standards

 

As well as this, gaining Jamie Oliver’s support on upholding the UK’s high food standards glared a much-needed spotlight on where our food comes from.

 

I hope this will provide members of the public with an insight into why they should support British farmers.

All in all, I think that, although the coronavirus has had a negative impact on a lot of people and businesses, it seems to have had many positive outcomes as well.

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