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Profiles: 7 farmers who are ‘still feeding the nation’ during the Covid-19 crisis

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A dairy farmer, who feels that “farmers are the hidden heroes and heroines during the Covid-19 crisis,” has created a campaign to highlight the importance of the agricultural sector.

31-year-old Victoria Dimond, who runs a dairy, sheep, beef and goat enterprise with her partner, Michael, his father, John, and three children, is calling on the public to row in behind the farming community.

“We just have to get the message out there that we are here, still farming, still feeding the nation.” she explained to That’s Farming.

As reported by us here, Victoria her popular Instagram account to bring fifteen “amazing, hard-working, talented women in ag” together.

Here are just seven of the campaign participants [another article will follow]:

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Claire Stead

Claire Stead farms a beef, sheep and arable enterprise with her family in the Yorkshire Dales.

She works closely with her older brother, Steve, and holds the opinion that there is nothing more important than family. 
“I do all the admin and help run the farm-assured 1,000+ sheep flock”

She is passionate about farming and feels that members of the agricultural community must put themselves forward more, as an industry, particularly in mainstream media.

Elizabeth Kneafsey

Elizabeth Kneafsey, the wild shepherdess, who often lives up to her name, travelling throughout the country staying in remote locations, living wild and simply as a contract shepherdess.

Raised in Nottinghamshire, she was not born into a farm, but carved out a life as a single parent who homeschooled her son alongside raising a flock of primitive breed sheep, which she calls her Shetlandics.

The business, Wild Wool Shepherdess, was born to promote her love of anything wool, and to keep the ancient art and heritage skill of hide tanning alive.

She tans her sheepskins and commissions with brains or bark with hides ranging from rabbit to buffalo! She offers high-quality hogget meat alongside consultancy on smallholdings and teaches her skills through workshops and festivals.

She sells her handmade leather and felted sheepskins, wool collars and woven rugs through craft fairs and her online shop.

The foundation of Elizabeth’s work show people a way of living simply, inspiring women to achieve beyond their social limitations and a deep ethos to promote grazing with nature, working in partnership with the land  to be regenerative and above all honour her animals from life and beyond their death.

Jess Chadfield

Jess Chadfield is a 28-year-old sheep beef farmer from Derbyshire who runs the enterprise alongside her husband Ben, a fencing contractor.

They produce beef boxes from their herd of rare breed White Park cattle, one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the UK.

Jess also has a mobile petting farm where she takes various farm animals out to schools and other locations to encourage visitors to learn more and ask questions about farming.

She is passionate about providing quality meat from happy, healthy animals and educating the general public about British farming.

Emma Foot

Emma Foot (26) works alongside her dad on the family-run arable farm.

She is passionate about farming and would love the general public to have more of an understanding of where their food has come from and what hard work goes into producing it.  

Her on-farm responsibilities include fertilising, cultivations and some spraying; she does all paperwork and helps with building work on-farm too and any other task that needs to be completed.

Emma sometimes helps her farm contractor partner if he needs an additional tractor driver.

Lucy Pye

Lucy Pye (23) runs a mixed-breed herd of approximately 250 dairy cows in Shropshire on her partner’s farm.

The farm rears all off their own replacement heifers using the ProCROSS system.

She has been working on the farm for around 5 years, alongside her partner, Mark, and their daughter, Sadie, who all recently moved into the farmhouse.

Since moving into the farmhouse, they have taken on the daily running of the farm together as a family. Lucy loves being a woman in agriculture and never fails to take on any on-farm job.

She feels now more than ever with the current Coronavirus pandemic is the time for everyone to come together and back British farmers.

Jade

Jade is the farmer behind Out and About Poultry, where she rears free-range turkeys and geese for the Christmas market from her farm on the Herefordshire/Powys border.

The first-generation farmer established this enterprise approximately eight years ago. She decided to farm turkeys after a night in her local where she met a man who told her turkeys were a good option.

She has expanded her enterprise at a steady rate and will be introducing chickens to the farm over the next year.

Katie Pryme

27-year-old Katie Pryme resides in North Buckinghamshire, where she runs a 150-strong herd of Traditional Hereford cattle, 200 North Country Mules, and a pig unit.
The young couple is making farming work for them, so they can provide “a legacy for the generation after us”.

They said they have been pleased to hear many local success stories from farmers recently in selling to the local public. They have even sold some of their excess eggs from some few chickens to the village!

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