Information for consumers about British Wool Products

International Women's Day: Jayne talks sheep & wool

Jayne Harkness-Bones was brought up on her parent’s sheep and beef farm in County Antrim, which she now farms in partnership with her Dad. She has always been involved in sheep one way or another and has worked for British Wool for over 3 years, now jointly running the grading depot with colleague Stephen.

What gets you up in the morning?

With having a busy work and home life, I am usually pretty motivated to get up early as there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Do you have any particular favourites in your flock?

I do - Barbara is a model sheep and is expecting her 9th lamb this season. She seems to have a calming influence on any younger replacements we get in.

What do you love most about your job?

Every day is busy, blink and I miss it! I enjoy chatting with producers that call the depot as I can relate to their queries from a farmers perspective and update them on the work British Wool is doing on their behalf.

I also love looking at things from different perspectives and suggesting new ways of doing things to try and bring about positive improvements.

What do you love about British Wool?

Having a not for profit organisation that is an advocate for producers is what I love. From government lobbying to networking we do with industry partners.

British Wool also facilitates shearing and wool handling training, which is a particular passion of mine. The importance of skilled shearers is vital to keep up the high animal welfare standards we have in the UK.

What do you do to switch off and relax?

I love long walks or going for a run. I used to go to the gym / swim, so when they open again that will be nice to get back to. I also love playing drums and creating music.

If you could give one piece of advice to people starting in the industry, what would it be? 

Get on a course - I just recently completed the Level 2 Agricultural Business Operations course at Cafre and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, be it breed or ram selection, or a new penning layout for lambing. Don’t just always do it the same as it’s always been done, as standing still is actually going backwards because the rest of the world will keep moving on without you!

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International Women's Day: Jayne talks sheep & wool Jayne Harkness-Bones - International Women's Day