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Young farmer focus: Rebecca Vining - 'My journey into farming was not the most conventional'

Rebecca Vining, 18, is from Bath, Somerset and works on an autumn-block calving farm. 

Background

 

My journey into agriculture was not the most typical or conventional.

 

With no farming background, I only had outsider knowledge, but a week of dairy experience became a part-time role, which then became my full-time job and lifestyle.

 

Now, I could easily talk for hours about my love for dairy farming.


Working on an autumn block-calving farm has given me the chance to start calf-rearing, alongside my usual daily jobs with the 200 Brown Swiss cattle.

 

This is where I have discovered my true passion within farming. I take so much pride in rearing these calves and helping them grow from tiny newborns into future food producers, whether that’s as a new generation of milking cows or as beef stock.

 

Alongside my full-time job, I started working a couple of afternoons a week at a 400 cow dairy, vaccinating and disbudding calves as well as gaining experience of a different farming system.

 

Every single day is a learning day, but especially as a newcomer in this constantly evolving field.


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Career

 

As autumn calving has come to an end, I am now about to start a new job as a calf rearer in the north of England.

 

Just under 600 calves are due within the space of 12 weeks and the first four weeks are predicted to be the busiest period, with about 60 per cent of the calves due.

 

I am excited to take on this new challenge, even if it means leaving home during a time where it is uncertain when I will be able to go back.

 

Reality

 

Before entering the industry, a lot of my opinions were (wrongly) influenced by some of the negative media portrayal of farming.

 

Farmers have a strong dedication to their animals, and this reality is not shared nearly enough.

 

British farming has high welfare standards, that’s a fact, and I will always advocate for supporting your local, hard-working farmers in any way possible.

 

Despite entering the world of farming at 18 years old, rather than being born into it, I would like to think I have a whole life ahead of me to work in, share and support the industry.


At the end of this year, I will start training to become a vet, and I currently aim to specialise in dairy cows and calves, although only time will tell on where I end up.

 

For now, I am looking forward to the business of spring calving and to once again be surrounded by newborn calves.

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