Women in agriculture presented by Lynsay Hawkes

Work I am a liaison with the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and the Bank of Ireland Open School Week Coordinator (BOIOFW).

Farm supplies; I live on a fifth-generation dairy farm with 250 breeds of Holstein, Jersey and Shorthorn cattle and 135 strong dairy herds.

Having completed a full-time master’s degree in Business, Agri-Food and Rural Enterprise with CAFRE, I am still excited to be involved in family farming and to offer my support. Whether it’s showing cattle at local agricultural shows, there is always work to be done to fill in the gaps while moving the cattle, check the young stock or cover the Shiloh pit!

open up To Our Daily Agricultural Life Today

Because I grew up in our family farm and my parents were very involved in many agricultural activities, there was always a lot of work to be done, such as feeding calves and pets, bedrooms, and helping with the farm show district.

I joined the Cescinore Young Farmers Club 15 years ago. Holding many bureaucrats and participating in various contests such as stock judging, public speaking, one-act drama, floral art, tag rugby and group debate, the competition has enhanced my life skills. I was very fortunate to be part of the Miss Macra Festival and the Queen of the Earth, from which I have made many contacts with the UK and Ireland, who have helped me through my career through YFCU.

I sat on my mother’s lap and wanted to take part in the action. I did a great job of opening the door to get the cows out of the yard, and at my age I was milking the cows’ milk and milking my ’30’ cows. Growing up, helping my family on the farm, I wanted to be helping Grandda, hoping to get a few bobs or two along the way – to feed the calves and learn all the tricks of the trade – two pounds would go up. Mind!

What personal traits did you develop from farming?

To be strong, have good work ethic, communication skills (especially important when moving animals), patience and problem solving.

Life lessons learned from farming

With good days, unfortunately, there will be bad ones, but everything can be fixed. “Every day is a school day!” As stated. The farming community is very creative and flexible, and when a job is needed or broken down, it always comes up with a solution. Hard work and relaxation can happen at the same time. It is important to have a balanced working life and to take a break.

What do you like most about farming?

At first glance, the farmers’ community and their desire, care and commitment to do everything possible. As you walk through the countryside, inspecting livestock, milking cows, or attending a local marathon or farm, your neighbors will stop spinning, lend a helping hand in times of need, or offer some advice! This has been the case over the past two years with the farming community gathering together, serving fresh food to the weak, picking up prescriptions or calling to see a neighbor.

With farming, two days are not the same! Along with the problems, there are many opportunities to help them with both hands. Agriculture is constantly evolving with climate change solutions, technological advances and new laws.

Describe the farmer in three words. Strong, emotional and optimistic.

What do you want the public to know about NI agriculture?

Farming 9-5 is not a job, for many, it is a way of life. Years later, the relationship between farmers and consumers ceased. It is important that children and the public have the opportunity to learn about local food production in NI. From the origins of the farm and the production process to the importance of our unique family farm structure. Farmers produce high quality food, contribute to shaping our green landscape in NI and create jobs that support our economy, support rural communities, and support tourism and recreation. Farmers have a wonderful story to tell, and they should be proud of it.

At NI, we have the best initiative and resources to showcase the positive work of our farmers and the history of ‘Farm to Fork’. With competition from BOIOFW and its schools, the UFU and Agri are ‘digging!’ Wealth and Animal and Meat Commission at School Cooking Demonstrations.

What if you gave some advice to farmers ‘families / farmers’ community?

Communication and adaptation are important. It is important for the farming community to talk and support each other, and remember that you are not alone. Learning Tips and Tricks at UFU, YFCU and Business Development Team Meetings or Talking to a Neighbor or Family Member We are fortunate to have the support of Rural, a local charity that provides confidential listening and counseling services to farmers and their families in NI.

What do you say to others who want to get involved in the agricultural industry?

Take advantage of every opportunity! The agricultural industry has a wide range of occupations ranging from domestic farming to food technology, horticulture, veterinary medicine, nutritionist and many more. It is very important to have good practice and remember that it is not too late to start learning. At NI we are fortunate to have access to a variety of hobbies such as CAFRE, Farm Family Key Skills and UFU training classes for those who wish to continue or continue their studies.

What are your future prospects for the Northern Irish agricultural industry?

Women have always played a key role in the farming business and in the wider industry – often behind the scenes. With the increase in women’s education and the leadership role of many women, the agro-food industry has changed. I hope this will continue in the future.

Our family farms should be recognized, rewarded and supported for their efforts to produce high quality products that consumers can trust. Along with the war in Ukraine, farmers have to get a fair price, with rising cost of living and rising prices. I hope that our unique family farm structure in NI will continue to be sustainable and profitable, that the next generation will flourish and continue to feed the country with our local, home-grown produce.

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