Today we’re heading to Derbyshire to speak to dairy farmer Jessica Langton. Despite only being in her 20s Jess already has an impressive CV and bags of passion, enthusiasm and drive for a career in agriculture. As well as working on the family dairy farm, she studied Animal Science at the University of Nottingham and is currently on a grad scheme with Genus who she worked with on a part time basis while doing her degree. She was a driving force for introducing Jersey and Norwegian Red genetics into her family’s pedigree Holstein and Friesian herd and she also has a strong interest in improving sustainability on the farm. This interest in sustainability goes wider and indeed when she was at Nottingham she was part of Enactus Nottingham, a not for profit organisation run by students and her social enterprise there worked with Arla to investigate feeding seaweed to ruminants as a way of reducing methane emissions. Jess was an NFU Student and Young Farmers Ambassador last year, she’s an appointee on the NFU Dairy Board, and in 2021 she was named Agricultural Student of the Year at both the British Farming Awards and the Farmers Weekly Awards.
Ben Eagle is a freelance rural affairs and agricultural journalist and podcaster. He also produces podcasts for a number of other rural organisations. You can find out more at benjamineagle.co.uk
Please subscribe to the show and leave us a review wherever you are listening.
Follow us on social media
Watch us on Youtube here
A-Plan Rural Insurance
This episode is sponsored by our primary sponsor A Plan Rural.
Becca and Lizzie: The Podcast
Image credit: Jess Langton
00:27 Ben introduces the show.
2:00 Jess comes in.
2:37 What is Jess doing on her grad scheme with Genus?
4:20 Who are Genus and Promar? Genus is a bovine genetics company mainly looking at marketing bull semen with a big focus on sustainability.
5:45 Jess talks about her family’s dairy farm with Lochlan pedigree Holsteins.
8:11 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural Insurance.
8:57 What 3 words would Jess use to describe herself?
9:55 Jess enjoys doing lots of different things – she wanted to be a doctor for a while.
10:55 Jess’s time at Nottingham University.
12:15 A project on reducing methane emissions by feeding seaweed to cattle.
14:48 Jess is involved in a lot of wider industry work, including with the NFU. Jess explains why it is important for her to get involved in the wider industry.
16:42 Where does Jess see herself in 10 years time?
18:04 Challenges in the industry – Jess sees labour as being the major issue at the moment.
20:10 Ben and Jess discuss publicity of the industry and painting farming in a realistic way – but how to encourage skilled people into the industry?
21:47 Challenges in the dairy sector – what is Jess’s perspective on dairy for this year?
23:24 Does the long term future look good for dairy? Jess thinks so.
24:22 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural Insurance.
24:53 Jess’s message for the public: keep supporting farmers. Keep drinking milk and eat plenty of cheese!
25:16 Jess’s message for farmers: we are a team. Look out for each other.
25:40 Jess does a shout of for the Becca and Lizzie Podcast.