5 minutes with Northamptonshire young farmer Rosie Jeffries

Welcome to “5 minutes with” where we get to know one of Britain’s brightest and best young farmers.

These brilliant young people are the future of the agriculture industry and we want to bring their lives, businesses, ideas and achievements to the fore.

By celebrating our young farmers and promoting what they do, we hope to generate even more interest in farming from younger generations and help make sure they get all the support they need to thrive in the future.

See also: 12 things to be when applying for your dream farm job

This this we’re getting to know Northamptonshire young farmer Rosie Jeffries.

Age: 28

Location: South Northamptonshire

What sort of farm do you live/work on?

A diversified mixed farm – mostly arable with a growing sheep flock as well as office and other commercial lets.

What do you get up to on the farm?

I run the sheep flock of 240 breeding ewes, I’ve grown this from 65 since returning from University in 2013.

I’ve also established Greatworth Hall farm education centre, getting children outside to learn about where their food comes from.

What do you get up to when you’re not farming?

I love to spend time with friends and family both nearby and far away. I also try to keep Sundays work-free so that I can go to church and spend some time resting and getting off of the farm.

What’s in your lunchbox?

A sausage sandwich, hula hoops and chocolate.

What’s the best bit about farming?

Working outside. I was a teacher before I returned to the farm and I so missed being outside and seeing the seasons change.

What’s the most frustrating bit about farming?

That I cannot control the weather. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the weather changes everything; a good lambing can turn terrible or a good crop can suddenly be lost and we’re completely powerless in those times.

Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

I would like to have more sheep, perhaps double my current flock. I would like to be providing more school visits on our farm and encouraging other farmers to do the same.

Rosie Jeffries with lamb

What makes you laugh?

Children saying funny things or just not realising what they’re saying, lambs doing weird little dances, friends and family messing around. I love to laugh.

What makes you angry?

Dishonesty and a misrepresentation of truth – particularly in the anti-farming propaganda shared on social media.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?

Winning the national Farm School Partnership award and overall winner award last autumn for the work I’m doing with children on the farm.

Another proud moment was having the courage to leave teaching and give the farm education centre a go and seeing it work.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

If you don’t make a plan for your life you’ll become part of someone else’s plan – know what you want to do and where you want to go and make it happen.

If I wasn’t scared, I would…

Actively promote farming at every opportunity in a completely public way. I’ve recently received some vegan abuse on social media, which has made me slightly more nervous to speak out publicly in promotion of British farming.

When you’re in the tractor cab, what’s your top tune, podcast or audiobook?

We have an old Nick Revel comedy cassette that we found in a charity shop a few years ago, I listen to it each year throughout the summer because the John Deere 6800 is the only vehicle we have with a cassette player.

Other than that, it’s Heart radio, the adverts get on my nerves but I like the mix of music.

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would spend the money on?

A classroom for the farm education centre with lots of resources. And a minibus – it  can cost a lot for schools to actually get to our farm for a trip, so I’d love to be able to go and pick them up.

What is the biggest challenge facing UK farming today?

For us personally and many farmers across the UK, losing a large amount of land to HS2 is a huge challenge – where and when can we buy land to replace what is being taken? Also, obviously Brexit. 

Tell us something about you that not many people know.

I’ve only gained confidence in a field of rams over the past two years – before that I’d find any other job and delegate feeding the rams to someone else.

Are you on Twitter and Instagram? Do you have a business page on Facebook?

Yes, all of the above. Instagram – @greatworthhallshepherdess, Twitter – @gh_education and Facebook Greatworth Hall and Greatworth Hall Farm Education Centre.