Learning from local farm community

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Lambing is the best time of year for Faye Pierce, the trainee shepherdess.

Faye Pierce is a seventeen-year old living in Rye Harbour who is planning a career in farming. The UK farming industry is facing major changes now. This of course brings with it challenges but also opens up opportunities. At the moment, there is enormous scope for keen, enthusiastic individuals to progress into farming careers and succeed. Faye is studying agriculture for three-years at Plumpton College which has an excellent range of courses inspiring students there and giving them all the necessary skills and knowledge they will need to succeed.

With the world’s population growing all the time, it is vital that ways are found to produce food sustainably. Being educated in the latest up-to-date methods helps to find and sustain those new ways.

Faye and her sheep dogs

Farming is in Faye’s blood as she is following in the footsteps of her grandfather and her father who have both farmed locally. She recalls that many of her earliest memories are being taken to the farm and being with the sheep, especially during lambing. Tony, her father, started when he was fifteen, working at that time with Graham and Cyril Saunders. He has now continued the business and runs the farm on his own although as Faye observes, at busy times the whole family mucks in.

Faye has always wanted to follow her father into the industry and her favourite time is lambing because, she explains, you get to see the end-product of all the hard work that you have put in over the year. She could not ever see herself in an office job as she loves the fact that no two days are the same in farming and your office is outdoors.

Once Faye has finished her course she intends to travel to New Zealand and learn all about sheep farming from a totally different perspective. Sheep were introduced there in 1773 by Captain James Cook. In 2007 New Zealand had the highest density of sheep per unit area but by 2019 China had taken that lead.

I asked Faye, who is a determined and dedicated teenager, who had influenced her the most in her life: “My parents. They both have a hard-work ethic and would do anything for anyone. It is the certainly the best act to follow. The local farming community is not extensive so everyone has each other’s back and would always lend a hand when needed. It is a good community to grow up in and learn from.”

Faye Pierce

I asked Faye what she would want to have with her if she was shipwrecked on a desert island and she said it would have to be a dog. And then I asked, what she would put in Room 101 because it annoys her the most, and she replied, “Crazy sheep and crazy cows”: I think farming is definitely in her blood.

Faye is in her second year, which is a practical one, working locally for Langrish Farmers on their mixed sheep & beef farm. Following that she will return to college for her final year then on to pastures new.

Image Credits: Kt Bruce , Family photo .

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