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Young farmer focus: Sine Soszka, 18 - 'There are some inspirational women in the ag industry'

Sine Soszka, 18, is an apprentice at Fearn Farm in Easter Ross, breeding commercial livestock. She is keen to expand her knowledge in the sector and improve her dog handling skills.

Learning: I have always struggled with confidence, partly due to dyslexia. However, I believe with the right attitude and a willingness to learn, you can achieve anything.

 

Some people may think being a woman working in the sheep industry could be challenging and, at times, you do find attitudes towards women can be a bit negative, but that is changing all the time.

 

There are some really inspirational women in the industry who are at the top of their game. Whatever you do, you need to be passionate and open to new ideas.

 

Farming offers so much; there is always something interesting and new to learn and the opportunity to work outdoors is a privilege.

 

Growing up: My love of farming was in no small part thanks to my father who worked as a farm manager near Dornoch.

 

As a child, I spent every spare moment helping him, initially working with cattle, later getting my hands dirty in the lambing season.

 

I was hooked and realised working with sheep was my future. After going to Fearn Farm, Easter Ross, for work experience, I was offered an apprenticeship and have never looked back.

 

Working with my three dogs gives me the greatest pleasure. I have two female collies — Jess and May — and a New Zealand Huntaway called Ace. I am out with them almost every day. I love working with dogs and having an emotional connection with them.


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Future: I am very happy here at Fearn Farm and would like to stay on to get as much experience as possible. I would like to get involved in the decision-making and take on more responsibility, but I recognise I still have a lot to learn.

 

Some aspects of the job I find challenging, particularly paperwork, so there are many things I need to work on. I would also like to go on a sheepdog training course. I have a long way to go, but I am very happy with the start I have made.

 

Brexit: People will always need to eat and, as long as we remain competitive, we have a rosy future.

 

At the moment, food is fairly cheap, so it would be great to see us getting a little more reward for the hard work that we do in getting food on to our customers’ plates.

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