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International Women’s Day: Kate on the future of Agriculture

Kate Drury is British Wool’s English Central Regional Chairman and Board Member Elect. Being from a family whom have farmed in the Welland Valley in Northamptonshire for four generations, she has kept her agricultural routes. Kate tells us where the passion came from and her thoughts on agriculture today and the future for agriculture.

What gets you up in the morning?

A mixture of having people who rely on me and a determination to make change for people to improve their lives, helps me seize the day.  I love finishing the day either physically or mentally tired, knowing I have put it to good use.  I also think the mornings are the best time of the day.

Where did your passion for sheep stem from?

My parents John & Sue Drury started the British Berrichon du Cher Sheep Society in 1986 allowing the first imports from the French breed society into the UK.  This afforded me the opportunity to travel all over the UK promoting the breed and showing at the local, regional and national shows. After finishing school and before college I travelled backwards and forwards to France on buying trips and working with the French breeding programme in Northern France.

How have you been involved with agriculture off the family farm?

Studying agriculture at the local Agricultural College, Moulton enabled me to carry on working on the family farm, after which I did my degree in Agriculture and Land Management at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) or College as it was then. I have been involved with many other sectors since then, but most enjoyed my time at Skipton Auction Mart and promoting agriculture and the countryside to school children.  I am now back at the RAU doing a part-time Masters in Sustainable Food and Agricultural policy.

What do you love most about the industry?

I have worked on most enterprises in agriculture, but working with sheep are definitely my passion.  I think it’s a really exciting time for agriculture, a time to think differently and a challenge to reduce risks and realise opportunities that allows agriculture to champion food production and mitigate climate change.

Are there any particular challenges of being a woman in agriculture?

Only that it is deemed a challenge due to the low numbers in senior positions within organisations in agriculture.  However this has dramatically changed compared to when I first tried to make a career in off-farm agriculture.  There have been some truly inspirational ladies who have carved a path for women in the sector. 

What do you do to switch off and relax?

I am not sure I am very good at that.  So it has to be easy to jump into, like reading a book, knitting or cycling.  Walking the dog twice a day always recharges the batteries.

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

Try and understand why you are passionate about something, as the passion will pull you through when you inevitably doubt yourself.  Barriers are crying out to be broken.

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International Women’s Day: Kate on the future of Agriculture Kate Drury - International Women's Day
Working with sheep is Kate's passion