The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen opened up about running Ravenseat Farm during a candid interview with Mariella Frostrup earlier this week. The 47-year-old issued a passionate plea to Times Radio listeners asking for the public to support farmers like herself. The mum-of-nine told Mariella “there are too many taking soundbites and not enough information”.
Amanda has 1,000 sheep, 40 cows, six dogs and four horses she tends to alongside her brood on Ravenseat Farm, which is located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
Channel 5 programme Our Yorkshire Farm has been a huge hit with viewers who regularly tune in to watch Amanda and her family work on their farm.
With the latest series of the show recently drawing to a close, Amanda opened up on the difficulties of modern-day farming.
She explained: “When it comes to priorities, we are very much at the mercy of nature and as a hill farmer, as a shepherd, you never switch off from that.”
The shepherdess admitted she has found herself looking into other people’s fields and comparing their sheep to hers.
Amanda said she and other farmers often find themselves “sort of commiserating about hard times” and comparing their harvests and the prices products are selling for.
She added: “Living where we do, not only are we in a very unpredictable environment, but life has proved over these past couple of years that things are particularly unpredictable with prices and what you can actually generate from living off the land.
“It’s difficult, it’s incredibly difficult, but we kind of have this idea that we are all in it together and we have to stand side by side. You just have to take the rough times with the smooth times.”
She said the conversation with other farmers is generally the same as they ask each other about the future of farming and need more young people to follow in their footsteps.
When asked about the public taking farming for granted, she explained: “Even people who didn’t call themselves countryfied or outdoorsy have actually realised what they’ve been missing when they have been trapped indoors.
“I am hoping there can be a deeper look at what the countryside can provide you with, whether that is in way of diet or in way of pleasure you can take from walking outdoors.
“And I feel like it doesn’t matter how the message is put out there, I think there are a lot of angry people out there who want to get shouty and I am not that person.
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“Quite often people will say, ‘Oh my gosh you must hate vegetarians or anyone who lives a vegan lifestyle’, but I say, ‘No, absolutely not’.
“We have to have an awareness of our diet and what we eat so we need to look at the full picture of what’s on your plate and where it came from and how it’s been farmed.”
The star added: “There are too many people taking soundbites and not enough information.”
Amanda also told listeners farmers “need support” so they can continue to work.
Amanda admitted it would be “nearly impossible” to live off her 2,000-acre farm if it wasn’t for doing her television show Our Yorkshire Farm and writing books.
When asked about how the public can help her and other farmers, she explained: “They [consumers] want high welfare, they want to see cows, crossing the road, they want to see ground-nesting birds and they want to see flowers in the meadows, but that has to equate to people going through the shop door and buying it, that’s the bottom line and that’s where we need the support.”
The Channel 5 star added: “We have to adapt, it’s kind of like adapt or die.”
The full interview with Amanda can be heard on Times Radio’s website.
Published at Sat, 04 Dec 2021 16:12:37 +0000