For Helen Parr, farming just seemed like the best option for her lifestyle. Helen is based in Cambridgeshire, UK, and began farming about 5 or 6 years ago.
She describes herself as a ‘first generation’ farmer, but her pedigree cattle herd can’t hide her years of passion and dedication.
“I fell pregnant with my little girl, and I wanted to find a job that fitted around having a child. It suited me to have a job at home at the time,” explains Helen to That’s Farming.
From this idea, Helen now has a successful business where all trade is actually done online!
“We have about 130 cattle, mainly pedigree Herefords. I do all my selling on our website, FabbHerd.com. It’s great because I would get two or three enquiries every week from the website, so our entire income is from that.”
Helen started off with just a few calves, and together with partner Daniel Fabb, their successful herd began.
On their website, Helen and Daniel’s cattle are described as having an ‘Elite Herd Health Status’, free from BVD, IBR, Johne’s disease, and Leptospirosis.
Most of their cattle are serviced through AI, and they’re also running an intensive embryo programme. They have polled Hereford bulls and females for sale.
“We’re building a house on the land at the moment too,” explains Helen. Their land in Cambridgeshire where they rear their cattle isn’t a very livestock-heavy area.
“It’s very crop-based here, with a lot of arable land. There just aren’t many cattle around here! What I think has helped us is the fact I try to do things against the grain. It’s good to try and do everything in your own unique way,” admits Helen.
“For us, farming is looking very positive for the future.”
Helen was in Canada just recently to look into buying more strong genetic matter. Improving herd quality is a big focus for herself and Daniel.
“Our plans for the future; well, to be the best Hereford herd in the country!” she laughs. “We’re trying our hardest.”
For Helen, farming is a satisfying job when she gets to see the quality animal that’s produced. However, that can be a double-edged sword when the fickle nature of the agri-market is considered.
“Sometimes you put so much effort into producing an animal, and then when something doesn’t go to plan, it’s difficult. Say if you’ve put a lot of money into a breeding programme and it’s not successful, you’ve seen all that money in outgoing with nothing coming in.”
Being a woman in agriculture isn’t too bad for Helen, as she feels she’s been accepted quite well into a male-dominated industry.
“I do sometimes have to put others straight that it’s myself managing the herd! I believe I’m quite strong, and I do the job.”
Make sure you check out Helen’s website here!
If you’re a woman in agriculture, we’d love to hear from you! Make sure to get in contact and you could be featured next.