Lauren David,19, is a beef and sheep farmer in Cowbridge, South Wales. She is also an NFU Student and Young Farmer Ambassador.
As a ninth-generation sheep and beef farmer, I have always been extremely grateful to have been brought up within agriculture.
On my family farm in South Wales, we farm about 400 breeding ewes and 100 beef cattle.
One thing that is great about a family farm is that every generation brings something different.
We currently have three generations farming alongside each other which brings both positives and negatives to the job. We can learn from each other but we can also challenge each other.
However, being the only female born into the David family for 90 years has brought its own challenges, as I have always been discouraged from following a career in farming.
There are so many opportunities out there for young people within the industry, especially now when the pandemic, leaving the EU and the Government’s green agenda has created a period of change, opportunity and growth.
Yet despite knowing I wanted to work in agriculture, I still found myself sitting in school career interviews a bit baffled that the only option being put before me was to leave school at 16 and go to agricultural college.
I am an ambitious person and I wanted to challenge and push myself, so I decided instead to go to university and complete a degree.
I am now in my second year of studying agriculture business management at the University of Reading.
Lockdown and remote learning has been really tough for a lot of students, but for me having all the classes online gave me the option to stay at home to study which meant I could also work on the farm.
I was also very fortunate to have completed a summer placement with the Farm Consultancy Group, in Wiltshire, last summer which I really enjoyed and it has enhanced my ambition to become an agriculture consultant once I have graduated.
The career opportunities for both men and women in agriculture have significantly grown even since I was a kid, but I still think farming is viewed as a man’s world and schoolkids are not given enough advice about the potential agricultural careers out there.
This needs to change because we are going to need every single person – man or woman – to promote our industry over the next few years and demonstrate why the public should back British farming.