Jessica Pollock believes that you should always follow your passion.
The young agricultural enthusiast attended Greenmount College for a two-year period before spending twelve-months in New Zealand. “I am very much a home-bird but I had a fantastic year and learnt so much,” Pollock explained.
Jessica learned how to make her family farm more efficient while in New Zealand. “I am very thankful that he allows me to implement different things - he does take my ideas on board and is very willing to discuss them," she added.
Women in Ag
She also gained an insight into the role of women in agriculture during her time overseas. “Women out there are treated as equals.”
“Women out there are farm managers or own their own farms. Women can do it because it is not about strength anymore.”
The dairy farmer acknowledged that women make significant contributions to the family farms, with responsibilities including paperwork, animal husbandry and the management of the farm and staff.
“Women have always been involved in agriculture, women have always been in agriculture from the land, women kept the land and fed the country and they have always been required there.”
“But women have never been farming in their own right and that is the difference now.”
“They are not having to farm with somebody and that is why I think it is fantastic to promote women."
"I don't think my dad thought he would have anyone coming onto farm, but he is delighted that I love farming as much as I do," Jessica concluded.
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Women in agriculture conference
Ulster Farmers’ Union will host its first women in agriculture conference aimed at recognising the contributions of women working in Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry next month.
The free event – which is fully booked - will take place on November 15th, 2019 at Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena.
Keynote speakers include Hannah Jackson, also known as the Red Shepherdess and Joyce Bannerman-Campbell, a sheep farmer from Sutherland Scotland and co-chairperson of the Scottish government’s women in agriculture taskforce.
Both will offer their own perspectives on the contributions of women to agriculture and share ideas on how to ensure opportunities enabling more women to join the industry are developed and capitalised on.
Conference speakers also include Rhonda Geary, Operations Director for RUAS; Deirdre O’Shea, Executive Director for Agri-Aware; Jo-Anne Dobson, NI Charity Ambassador for Kidney Care UK; and Zita McNaugher, YFCU President.