Each month we ask a young farmer for their views on farming and rural youth. This month we caught up with Sarah Mowat
Name: Sarah Mowat.
Club: Ross Sutherland.
Where do you live? Fearn, Easter Ross.
Do you hold or have you held any office bearer roles at Young Farmers?
I was previously club secretary, and I’m currently district treasurer.
Tell us about your background in agriculture:
I grew up on the family farm back at home in Orkney, and from a very young age was outside helping whenever possible. After secondary school, I studied for a BA Hons in Rural Business Management at Craibstone and graduated in 2016.
What do you do for an occupation?
I work at Fearn Farm as a farm administrator.
What sparked your interest in agriculture?
Definitely growing up on our farm at home sparked my interest and then realising there were courses out there that combined both agriculture and my favourite subject at school – business. It seemed like the best option after school.
As rural youth, do you think there is something we should be doing additionally or differently in the agricultural sector?
I think we should be working closer with schools both at primary and secondary levels and letting the kids know about how food is produced, and also be teaching kids about different careers in agriculture and the different jobs this can lead too.
If you could pass on a piece of advice to someone looking to get into the sector what would it be?
Get stuck in, whether you have no experience at all or years of experience. I think if you show enthusiasm and are willing to learn in any job, you will learn and get far more from the job and sector as whole.
Where do you see the farming sector in 10 years from now?
This is a really difficult question. I feel like there is a lot of unknown at the minute with Brexit and how it will end up. But also our climate seems to be throwing us new challenges; from the Beast from the East in the winter to one of the driest and hottest summers. Farmers are having to adapt and overcome these new challenges.
What is the most rewarding thing about working in the farming industry?
There is something really rewarding about bringing new life into the world but also the really good community spirit with the agricultural communities. It’s something I have noticed at home in Orkney, studying at Craibstone and now where I live in Easter Ross.
We can’t end the interview without talking about Young Farmers so tell us about your experience – why did you join?
I was previously a member of Sandwick Young Farmers before moving “South” as we would say and I’m now a member of my local club. I joined for the competitions like the concerts and rally, even if a Young Farmers’ rally means baking until 1am.
What do you most enjoy about Young Farmers?
I really enjoy that Young Farmers is not just a local thing, it’s throughout Scotland and worldwide. They also have a great network and training resources. I recently took part in the Cultivating Leaders course and it was such a great experience.
How do you feel Young Farmers has impacted your life?
Young Farmers has had a great impact on my life so far. I have met so many of my close friends through it and also I have gained so much confidence and experience. There is still a lot I would like to take part in like possible travel opportunities and further competitions.
Do you have advice for someone looking to join?
Get in touch with anyone and come along to a meeting/event to see if you enjoy it and ask about the different competitions and events we have.