Follow Hannah on Twitter @redshepherdess
Originally a city girl from Liverpool, Hannah Jackson, aka ‘The Red Shepherdess’ didn’t set foot on a farm until she was 20 years old.
Now 28, Hannah lives in Cumbria on her own farm, which she shares with sheep, Highland cattle, goats, pigs, chickens, and sheepdogs. A keen ambassador for the industry, she uses social media and TV to communicate positive messages about British agriculture.
Q. What inspired you to give up city life and pursue a career with animals in the countryside?
A. I knew from a young age I wanted to work with animals. Before I could walk or talk I was named ‘Dr Dolittle’ by my family. I’ve always had a huge connection with animals so a career working with them was set from the word go. Naturally that also meant a career outside and in nature. I just never thought it would be farming though!
Q. As a first-generation farmer, what are the biggest challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
A. There were a lot of challenges when I first started farming. I was 20 and had never set foot on a commercial farm. I am also a Scouser with bright red hair and a woman, so there were a few barriers to break through. On top of the stereotypes I had no knowledge of farming and I was starting at the bottom, straight out of university. I found myself working for free for the first 10 months.
Overcoming those challenges was all down to mindset and attitude. I’m a very determined (sometimes stubborn) person and when I set my mind to something, I see it through. Any doubters, haters or non-believers used to fuel my fire. They became my drive to work harder and be even better.