Women in Ag: Meet Olivia a farmer and aspiring photographer


This week's women in Ag is a farmer with a difference. Olivia from Devon traveled to New Zealand to earn her farming stripes but now calls County Clare home.

Women in Ag: Meet Olivia a farmer and aspiring photographer

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  • 2 years ago

This week's women in Ag is a farmer with a difference. Olivia from Devon traveled to New Zealand to earn her farming stripes but now calls County Clare home.

Olivia Charles is no ordinary farmer she also happens to be an amazing farm photographer!

Hailing all the way from Devon, England Olivia’s love for farming stems from her previous training in animal care at Bicton Agricultural College.

After making lots of great friends in the farming sector “99% of my friends would have been farmers”, Olivia’s curiosity to learn more about farming brought her to the other side of the globe to learn the art of huge scale dairy farming.

Invercargill south of New Zealand may be known as the end of the world but that didn’t deter the Devon lass (22) from making the two-day voyage south to enter the unknown!

Shortly after arriving, Olivia found herself along with another female friend milking side-by-side 650 Friesian Jersey cross cows, where she later progressed to another farm to milk 800 Jerseys. Apart from milking one of her favorite things was driving for miles to round up the cattle on quad bikes.

“The scariest bit was moving the bulls from paddock to paddock, there were 12 Jersey bulls who would fight with each other the whole time”

Of course it wasn’t all fun and games, especially when it came to controlling one of New Zealand’s most troublesome weed, ragwort.

“Spraying the paddocks for ragwort was the vein of my life, if I never saw it again I would be happy”

After returning to Devon confident with all that she had achieved, Olivia started to work on a 100-cow dairy farm for a local family that produced ice cream.

Irish connection

During her time in New Zealand, Olivia met her partner, an Irish farmer whom she had stayed in contact with since her return home. After some time she decided to take the plunge and relocate to the countryside of County Clare.

“My mam was a bit depressed with me just coming home for five months and ditching her again”

Ireland produced a verity of opportunities for Olivia, instead of her usual dairy farming it was now a new experience dealing with beef and driving machinery!

“I knew nothing about beef before I came over.”

Working full time Olivia helps out as much as she can on her partner’s family farm to broaden her knowledge on this different type of farming.

Photography

But its not all farming that inspires this young ambitious lady; Olivia is an upcoming agricultural photographer and videographer.

“What I love about photography is the way you can catch that perfect moment when there is a sunset coming down behind a tractor.”

Covering events such as tractor runs and producing videos of silage harvest season, Olivia was quickly snapped up by a large machinery dealership to work on their promotional videos.

“It was the perfect way to start 2017”

Olivia is up to date on the latest technology with the recent purchase of a drone, and the determination to learn more on video editing. She is aware of the impact of video over photos and adapting to new trends.

“My partner would watch videos on YouTube of tractors at work and if they had been at silage all day they would come home and watch videos of other people doing it to see if they can so it better!”

Olivia’s inspiration for her work derives from the productions of the famed aerial photographer Aidan Harrington.

“A person I follow on YouTube that I find amazing is a lad called Aidan Harrington, his shots are unreal”

Miss Charles is set for great things in the future, and relishes the idea of combining farming and creativity through the eyes of a lens.

“I would love to get more involved in the silage and learn every aspect of it before the summer is out. I would also love to make a real business out of my photography and to make my name known in the Argi world”

You can check out Olivia’s photography and get in touch with her through her Facebook page @OCharlesPhotography




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