Women in Agriculture profile featuring Chloe Dunn

Friday, 21 May, 2021

A special ‘beyond NI’ edition

Place you call home: Leicestershire, England.

Occupation: Breedr Community marketing manager / Women in Agriculture PhD researcher.

How did you become involved in farming?

I first started working at a local beef and sheep farm during school holidays/weekends, I got the bug and then joined my local Young Farmers’ Club. Later, I took a gap year after completing my A-levels and worked on lots of different farms before studying agriculture and business management at the University of Nottingham.

Earliest farming memory: My best farming memory was being there as my first sow farrowed on the parcel of land I’d started renting during my third year of uni. It was and still is one of my best memories!

What personal characteristics did you develop from agriculture?

I think resilience is a major one. Ultimately being heavily controlled by a whole host of constantly changing factors which are outside of your control, and still managing to get on with the job everyday… it’s something anyone working in agriculture has to have - and I don’t think we often give ourselves enough credit for!

Life lesson you learnt from farming: Bad things happen. It’s just about getting up and dusting it off!

What do you enjoy most about the farming lifestyle?

The farming community! I’ve met so many great people who are fantastic examples of everything an innovative, inclusive and forward-thinking industry should be.

With regards to my women in agriculture research specifically, there are hordes of absolutely fantastic women out there – completely smashing it every day and supporting/encouraging other women to do the same. It’s really great to see people continually making the sector a better place to be and work.

Describe a farmer in a few words: Resilient, dedicated, any gender.

What would you like the public to know about farming?

It’s accessible to everyone! Follow some farm accounts on social media and when we’re allowed out again, visit an Open Farm Sunday event if you can. The disconnect between how food is produced and how food is consumed, opens us up to a whole load of misinformation. Experiencing farming first-hand will help equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions of your own.

If you could give farmers/farming families/ farming community one piece of advice, what would it be?

Sounds cliché, but ‘be the change you want to see’. I think it’s so important to be kind and support other people (and have a laugh!) wherever you can – this is something the farming community are already incredibly good at

What would you say to others who are considering a career in the agri industry?

100 percent go for it, and don’t be afraid to try different things. Agriculture is such a diverse industry and there are so many different areas and opportunities that often we don’t know exist. I would say get as much experience as you can – through this you’ll discover new interests and career opportunities along the way, and they probably won’t be the things you thought of first.

What are your hopes for the future of the agriculture industry?

Alongside more security for producers and support for young people/new entrants, I would love to see more support initiatives for women in the sector. Research shows a tangible need and impact of support initiatives to help support women. It’s not about asking for special treatment, it’s about recognising difference and acting where there is room for improvement. It’s a really exciting time to work in agriculture and I think funding to help support women in the sector with things like training and development can have a real impact in inspiring and supporting the next generation of farming leaders.