Meet our new Farmer Board Member, Eleanor Mackintosh
Tell me about yourself?
I grew up on a hill farm, married a hill farmer and now help our son, who has taken over, as and when required. I am currently a Board Member on the Cairngorms National Park, with the elections happening as I write.
Tell me about your farm and activity in the sheep industry?
We are currently farming a 340-hectare tenanted hill farm on the Glenlivet Estate which is owned by Crown Estate Scotland. We have a suckler cow herd, mainly Simmental Cross Saler cows and a sheep flock divided into 3 main groups. A Pedigree Blackface flock, Mule ewes going to the Suffolk and Blackface ewes which are put to the Bluefaced Leicester. For many years, I also helped run a contract shearing business which at its peak was putting over forty thousand sheep through the trailer in a season.
What do like to do in your spare time?
Until recently boring stuff – reading and gardening - but I now have two gorgeous grandchildren, so granny duty is top priority.
Why do you want to be involved with British Wool and how important is British Wool to the UK sheep industry?
I joined the Scottish Northern Committee about six years ago. I had stood for the Board elections unsuccessfully but was fortunate to be co-opted to the committee. I want to see how British Wool works and I want to understand why wool is worth next to nothing at the farm gate, yet any woollen product is expensive.
I am very pleased to acknowledge that British Wool has moved to a much better place with a much clearer payment system and a more modern system of handling the millions of tonnes of wool that comes in through their depots. However sadly and importantly the price of wool to the farmer is still nowhere near where it needs to be. When I look back at my time with British Wool and be able to say I played a part in achieving a greater return to the farmer. I believe this will be possible if we are investing in innovation and capitalising on the fact that wool is a sustainable, graded, traceable, scoured and manufactured product in the UK.Back to Blogs