Hannah Reddaway: Career pivot to farming ‘deeply fulfilling’

I made a seemingly unconventional career pivot from the world of structural engineering back to farming two and a half years ago – a decision I wouldn’t trade for anything.

My transition began with a sabbatical from engineering to work on my parents’ dairy and beef farm but, within a couple of months, the idea of incorporating sheep into the operation emerged.

Soon enough, I was fully immersed in the rhythms of agricultural life.

See also: Hannah Reddaway – local support goes a long way for farmers

About the author

Hannah Reddaway
Hannah Reddaway works part-time as a chartered structural engineer alongside working on her family’s South Devon dairy farm, where she has started her own sheep and meat box enterprises.
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One of the most rewarding aspects has been the sense of community and camaraderie that permeates the agricultural world.

From learning essential skills during lambing on a neighbour’s farm to finding invaluable support through social media groups, the solidarity among farmers has been inspiring and reassuring.

Despite the daunting nature of venturing into unfamiliar territory, the support from my family, engineering employer, and encouragement from friends has been instrumental in setting up my own business.

Reconnecting with my family’s farming heritage has also been a deeply fulfilling experience.

Though I wasn’t actively involved in farming during my grandparents’ era, it means a lot to be working in the same fields as them.

Of course, adjusting to the change of career and lifestyle hasn’t been without challenges.

The financial investment required, the ongoing uncertainties, the learning curve and occasional setbacks have tested my resolve.

Balancing the demands of farming and engineering has necessitated a reconfiguration of my time. Weekends are a thing of the past.

However, I’ve gleaned invaluable lessons that transcend agriculture.

The resilience cultivated through overcoming obstacles, the importance of effective time management, and the necessity of learning to switch off and savour moments of respite are all invaluable skills honed through this journey.

Perhaps the most significant lesson is the simple yet profound mantra I gleaned from my neighbour: Don’t panic!

My journey back to farming has been transformative, marked by moments of triumph, camaraderie, and personal growth.

As I continue to navigate the complexities of this dual existence, I remain grateful for the opportunity to pursue a path that aligns with both my passion and familial legacy.

Whenever I’m out on the farm, there’s really nothing else I’d rather be doing.