Each month we ask a young farmer for their views on the sector. This month we caught up with Eilidh Sutherland, 18, from the Black Isle
Do you hold any roles at Young Farmers?
I am club secretary at InverRoss Young Farmers.
What’s your background in agriculture?
I was brought up on the family farm so I have been surrounded by farming my whole life – there was no escaping it.
Where do you work?
I recently joined Harbro’s retail store in Inverness and I am loving it. It’s such a nice balance between the farming side and the business aspect too.
What sparked your interest in agriculture?
Growing up around it meant I always had an interest but in the last few years I have become more involved around the farm and help whenever I can. I think you have to find which part of the farm is most favourable to you and then you realise how interested you really are. For me it’s sheep – I’m lucky my boyfriend is a shepherd!
What is the most rewarding thing about working in the farming industry?
If you take a step back and actually think about how much farmers all over the country do for everyone – although not everyone sees or realises that – you realise how amazing it is to be a part of it.
Do you think there is something we should be doing differently in the sector?
I think our generation could be reaching out a bit more to try and encourage people to take an interest in agriculture, and also to remember that if someone asks a question that we might think is stupid, answer and explain it. The amount of knowledge farmers have is crazy and we can forget how much there is to learn and people may not know as much as we do.
Where do you see the farming sector in 10 years’ time?
I hope people may begin to realise how much the world needs farmers to keep everyone fed so that farmers can get a little more back for their work and give the sector the boost it needs.
What’s your advice for someone looking to get into farming?
Be prepared for a lot of blood, sweat and tears because it is definitely one of the hardest industries to work in and never be afraid to ask questions. Everyone has to learn and farmers appreciate people that ask questions and show interest.
What do you enjoy most about Young Farmers?
The friends I’ve met and the amount of opportunities that get offered to you.
How has Young Farmers impacted your life?
It has definitely helped me become more interested in the farm and encouraged me to not be afraid and to ask questions even if they sound stupid.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to join?
It can be daunting, especially if you come from a non-farming background, but Young Farmers is for everyone so make the most of all the opportunities and friends you can meet through it.