Lucy scoops place at conference

Lucy McVeigh, livestock manager at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham.

Lucy McVeigh, livestock manager at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham. - Credit: Archant

A young livestock manager was among the delegates at the Oxford Farming Conference this week after she was awarded a scholarship to attend.

Lucy McVeigh, livestock manager at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham.

Lucy McVeigh, livestock manager at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham. - Credit: Archant

Lucy McVeigh, of Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham, scooped the Under-30s Farmer’s Club (London) Scholarship, which gave her an insight into the event, whose theme this year was Thrive or Survive.

“I feel really passionately about getting young people’s voices heard, especially women, on agricultural matters. Having worked in the farming industry since I was 16, it is now more challenging than ever to get your voice heard,” she said.

Lucy, who grew up on her family farm in Suffolk, is the 13th generation to be involved in the sector.

“From the farm, we run five main enterprises; arable land, livestock, wedding venue, glamping site and cookery school. My role as livestock manager oversees the responsibility for our herd of English Longhorn Cattle, Oxford Sandy and Black pigs and store lambs. I also manage the butchery, marketing and sales of our meat through our farm shop, cookery school, mail orders across the UK and suppling top London restaurants and butchers.”

Lucy McVeigh, livestock manager at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham.

Lucy McVeigh, livestock manager at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham. - Credit: Archant

During the summer months, Lucy manages the arable harvest team, having driven a combine harvester since the age of 15. She has spent the last three years studying for a degree in marketing and management at the University of East Anglia while continuing in her full-time role on the farm. She is the youngest female member to be elected onto the Suffolk Agricultural Association Council and also sits on its educational committee.

“As an agricultural entrepreneur, I value any opportunity to develop my understanding and knowledge of the agricultural industry. I feel it is important to keep to up to date with current affairs, industry trends and government policy. The Oxford Farming Conference is the perfect platform to learn, engage and network with influential speakers, likeminded farmers and gain a better

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understanding of public opinion,” she said.

She admitted that as a female in her early twenties working hin the farming industry it had been a struggle to be taken seriously, but she welcomed the opportunity to meet progressive farmers at the conference.

“I have had to prove I am just as capable as my male counterparts. I have worked hard since leaving school, investing time and effort into increasing efficiency and minimising costs on our family business so it can thrive rather than simply survive,” she said.