Our Yorkshire Farm: The children rename their new cow

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Amanda Owen, 46, spoke with David Oakes on his podcast Trees A Crowd about her life on the farm, how she got there and her plans for the future. Amanda opened up to David about the male-orientated industry she works in and how she ‘loves’ men whilst candidly speaking on the struggles women have getting stereotypical ‘male’ jobs.

After speaking about her experience with school and her aspirations for her future, David asked: “You didn’t believe yourself clever enough to become a vet?”

Amanda quickly answered: “Nope, well, our careers advisor agreed with me on that one, that would have been about 1988.”

“But I’ve yet to meet a careers advisor who didn’t have their own personal agenda for the quota that, that schools needed to hit at the time,” David quipped, making Amanda giggle.

“You are so right,” Amanda agreed, “And I thought things had moved on, but interestingly, it would appear that maybe they haven’t.

“Because I did go and do a talk to some people the other day it was a women’s group, a young girl there who said to me you know, I’m at secretarial college, but I dream of being a farrier.

“And I was like so why are you at secretarial college then, she said, ‘Well my careers advisor said that farrier wasn’t for women.’

“And you see, I’m not a burn your bra kind of a person I’m not sort of into that misogyny, I’m not into that at all,” she explained.

David asked: “Would you define yourself as a feminist?” to which she quickly replied laughing: “I wouldn’t no, I love men.”

“Well, you can still love men,” David suggested as Amanda interjected: “I love men, I work in a man’s world, but the minute you start putting a sign up or a label, it immediately kind of sort of makes people take a step back.

“And perhaps they think you’ve got some kind of agenda to show them and nothing like that.”

Hearing Amanda’s remark about not putting labels on things, David asked: “Is defining yourself The Yorkshire Shepherdess, not a label?”

Laughing at David’s question, Amanda said: “I didn’t even do that.”

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“Ok, so where did that come from? Is that a publisher somewhere?” David asked, as Amanda simply replied: “Yeah!

“Because I’m just doing my thing, I had no plan that seems to be the general theme, people say, ‘How did you manage this what was the plan?’ there wasn’t a plan.

“There never was a plan there was a vague idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to be but how that actually came to be a reality.

“And how it came to fruition, it’s literally I think I’d say fate, chance, I don’t know.”

“Take me through it,” David asked, “You’ve got your Hill Shephard book, give me a potted history of what happened in those early days.”

“What happened, in a roundabout kind of way, I went back to my careers advisor and said, ‘Yeah you’re right, not a vet, I want to be a shepherd,” she answered. 

“So, he was like ok, flicks through the book and gets to general farm worker that’s what you are, ok, so that was it see you later.

“So that was it, I milked cows for a while, basically trying to get some experience and see whether it really was what I wanted,” she explained.

Our Yorkshire Farm series 1-5 is available to watch on My5. 
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