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HomeBeefThe Red Shepherdess: ‘No matter what your background, we can all succeed’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Red Shepherdess: ‘No matter what your background, we can all succeed’

Growing up in the Wirral, Hannah Jackson had never set foot on a farm until she was 20-years-old, but she always had a passion for animals.

It all began on a visit to the Lake District when she witnessed the moment a ewe gave birth to her lamb – a “lightbulb moment” happened in her heart – and she “never looked back”.

In her book Call Me Red, published by Ebury Press in March of this year, she tells the story of how she broke the stereotypes of her Liverpudlian ‘townie’ childhood, faced up to life’s challenges head-on and followed her dreams with hard graft to become a shepherd, nurturing her flock of 250 sheep on an idyllic Cumbrian farm.

She gives a unique insight into farming life and the values it has taught her – from connection, communication, and community, to leadership, patience, and resilience.

She says her current life “is a far cry away from the town I was born in, but I am living my childhood dream as I farm and share my story far and wide”.

A spokesperson for the publishing company said:

“Behind the beautiful landscape, talented sheepdogs, impressive success story, and eye-catching red hair is someone who works incredibly hard to survive and thrive in farming today and is a public advocate for sustainable British farming.”

“Hannah’s simple and universal wisdom, practical advice and words of encouragement inspire us to search for our own goals and focus on what is really important in life.”

“Her mindset and optimism prove that no matter what your background, we can all succeed.”

Call Me Red

According to the spokesperson, key topics covered in Call Me Red, by ‘The Red Shepherdess’

  • Determination – grit, and perseverance learnt from standing up to a male-dominated world;
  • Trust – patience, understanding learnt from training her loyal sheepdog Frasier;
  • Empowerment – stereotypes don’t have to be a barrier: trust yourself;
  • Smart failure – taking a risky job, overcoming isolation, finding confidence through anxieties;
  • Sheepdog training – natural instinct, long days;
  • Lambing – realities of being a contract shepherd as well as managing a farm.
About the author

Hannah Jackson is a lambing and farming contractor and TV personality.

Also known as The Red Shepherdess, she has become one of the farming industry’s youngest and most influential spokespeople and role models, with circa 125,000 followers online.

When not on a farm, Hannah is a spokesperson for agriculture and young farmers’ ambassador – she was a Young Farmer of the Year 2018 Finalist.

She has appeared on BBC One Countryfile and is a renowned advocate for the farming community.

She is a keen CrossFit fan and made it to the final round of SAS: Who Dares Wins 2019.

Hannah lives on her farm in Cumbria with her husband, Danny, along with her loyal sheepdogs, Fraser, Butch, Drift and Swift, her rescue horse, Jim, her pigs, goats, chickens and 250 characterful sheep.

See That’s Farming’s popular women in ag series.

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