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International Womens Day: Why I love my job in farming

With a passion for the industry and the people who reside within it, we hear from women who work at AHDB in their many varied roles to see why they love their job.

Emily   Ashworth

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Women in farming: Why I love my job

Emily   Ashworth
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There are so many varied jobs in the farming industry and perhaps some you may not have thought of.


Below, Marta Castellani, Media & PR Coordinator for AHDB, hears from women who work within the organisation about why they love they job in agriculture - some simply fell in to it, others grew up in farming families.


Each however are extremely proud to be involved.

Laura ryan

Laura Ryan, Strategy Director - Beef and Lamb

  • You learn something new every single day.
  • There's a broad range of challenges and opportunities.
  • No two days are the same. One day you could be out onfarm and the next speaking to HRH The Princess Royal about the industry.

Gemma Beevers, Events manager for Knowledge exchange

  • They say that women make the best multi-taskers – whether this is true or not it is certainly something that comes in handy when managing a team that organise hundreds of events for levy payers every year. So my first reason is having the chance to put said multi-tasking to good use by balancing multiple tasks at once and ensuring that nothing goes unchecked before an event. This is the best way to provide an event that will run smoothly and give our
    farmers the best chance of learning something of value to them.
  • Knowing that even the smallest piece of information provided to a levy payer at one of our events could make a huge difference for their business and, in turn, for the industry as a
  • Having the chance to listen to the many female experts who speak at our events - from my colleagues in our technical function, to vets, consultants and scientists.

Christine Walsh, Managing director, Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Ltd


  • Exciting - Opportunities in so many different areas – engineering , sales, personnel, training,
    marketing, research, learning, travel, meeting inspirational people, problem solving, finance, accounts IT, technology etc etc
  • Empowering - have the chance to develop and implement change
  • Rewarding – satisfaction of seeing the results of your actions
Sarah Pick  / Knowledge Exchange Manager – National Assistant

Sarah Pick, Knowledge Exchange Manager – National Assistant

  • Because no day is the same – it never gets boring. At work I can be in the office reading a scientific paper or analysing weight data, to the next day when I am out on-farm applying that knowledge (on snowy days in winter when you are hosting an event, you wish it was an office day!). At home you can be helping to fill in a grant application in the morning to then cleaning out calf hutches in the afternoon.
  • It is extremely rewarding – great to see in my job how farmers have improved their business through working with us (such as the beef from grass project). Then at the farm at home there is nothing better than seeing a new calf being born after waiting for it for 9 months!
  • The number of skills it uses are endless: you need computer skills (BCMS, software programmes), financial skills (budgeting, accounting), mechanical skills (fixing tractors, welding), social skills (building relationships with neighbours), problem solving skills (believe me when you live on a farm there are loads of problems), negotiating skills (feed prices) and what I call caring skills – every farmer cares so much about the welfare of their animals - if they aren't happy and healthy they won’t be profitable.

Amy Fawcett, Knowledge Transfer Manager East/West

  • Working in the industry that is responsible for feeding the world holds new challenges every day
  • UK agriculture is an ever changing landscape full of new technologies and world leading farmers
  • It’s all about the cows! Cattle breeding is a science that is recognised worldwide – I could never get bored of it or imagine doing anything else
Suzanne King  / PA to International Market Development Director

Suzanne King, PA to International Market Development Director

  • My father who was born, raised and worked on a farm, saw the implementation of automated milking and worked with a Shire horse before they switch to tractors until his early twenties. He remained passionate about farming and supporting British and local farms his entire life time. He raised his children into this passion. Long story short, working in a way that supports the best of the best makes for massive job satisfaction and although my dad is no longer with us, I know he would be very proud of a daughter who is part of the Great British farming industry.
  • The industry is not only interesting and challenging, but also essential – if you are involved in anyway, you know what you are doing matters.
  • It is a passionate industry – farming is not just a job, but an identity that goes down to the marrow - it’s a culture and way of life – if you want to work with people who care you’re in the right place.

Catherine Lambourne, Crop protection senior scientist

  • Being able to play a very small part in crop production in the UK.
  • Working in an environment where growers are open to new thinking and ideas that help
    them, despite all the difficult challenges they face.
  • The huge variability from one day to the next, talking to growers, farm visits, project
    development meetings, constantly juggling multiple areas of work.

Lauren Turner, Pork Processing Projects Manager

  • Playing just a small part in feeding the nation is a fantastic feeling. Every cog in the wheel needs to be kept turning in order to deliver food to the nations plates, with my role being so varied I am lucky enough to be involved with everything from health and welfare, to food standards and safety right through to traceability and levy payer support.
  • Agriculture roles are so varied with a broad spectrum of jobs available, although I now specialise within the pig industry. The whole agricultural supply chain all has to work together to deliver. I am fortunate enough to be involved with projects working with the likes of the FSA, DEFRA and processors as well as farmers.
  • Living, working and being brought up in the countryside is a privilege. Agriculture plays a huge role in the way that Britain looks and operates and I enjoy spreading the word on how important agriculture is within the community and how it shapes the countryside we live in.
 Kathy Roussel Head of Brussels office

Kathy Roussel, Head of Brussels office

  • Because agriculture is life: we all need to eat and we all enjoy quality food
  • Because farming is not only about food, it is about environment, landscapes, rural communities and our cultural background.
  • Because I believe that hard work, and farmers are definitely working hard, should be valued


Sarah McArthur

Sarah McArthur

  • Having grown up in rural Northumberland mucking around on farms, one of my first jobs was helping with lambing. I'm now working with AHDB and finding out about the progressive and world leading work our farmers and growers do. I enjoy sharing that knowledge with others - whether they be politicians or TV producers - so they can understand first hand what an important role British farmers and growers take in feeding the world and protecting our beautiful countryside.
  • The characters and the sense of community which exists in rural areas is so strong and infectious. When I go out to visit farmers and growers around the country their entrepreneurial spirit and resilience shines through, no matter what the weather or the challenges they face. It's those personalities which resonate with me.
  • Finally, I enjoy finding stories which help people in towns and cities to understand and remember where the food which is produced for them comes from. Whether that be the variety of flavours which can come through in beef produced on upland and lowland pastures, how British growers are breeding the next generation of berries, or how almost 30 different varieties of worms help to keep soils healthy allowing us to produce top quality crops - those are the things I like discovering and sharing with consumers around the world.
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