We’re heading to Ceredigion in Wales today to meet dairy farmer, consultant, writer and Nuffield Scholar. Indeed Anna Bowen’s CV is pretty impressive and she clearly makes the most of her time. She is a director of Symbiotic Farming Ltd – which is contract based and they milk 300 cows on a grass based spring block calving system. She’s also a freelance writer and journalist and has written for a range of rural, equestrian, farming, sustainability and women’s lifestyle magazines and websites as well as doing some PR work. She is also a consultant with the Andersons Centre specialising in dairy but also covering sheep and beef grassland systems. Her Nuffield Scholarship is titled ‘Can the UK improve the ethics of its dairy calf management while retaining profitability?’
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Ben Eagle is the founder and Head of Podcasts at RuralPod Media, a specialist rural podcast production agency. He is also a freelance rural affairs and agricultural journalist. You can find out more at ruralpodmedia.co.uk or benjamineagle.co.uk
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This episode is sponsored by our primary sponsor A Plan Rural.
Image credit: Anna Bowen
00:27 Ben introduces the show.
02:00 Anna comes in.
02:10 Anna grew up on a dairy farm in Carmarthenshire. Anna’s life growing up.
03:06 Anna has moved towards a different farming system but she never expected to work in agriculture.
05:14 Where did Anna think she would head? Initially she was going to be a vet but she decided to not go ahead.
06:20 Anna’s time at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.
07:11 Anna did a masters in Sustainable Ag and Food Security.
09:19 Anna started working in marketing and sales for a large veg importing firm.
11:18 Sponsor message about A Plan Rural.
12:03 Anna’s farming side as a contract dairy farmer today.
14:27 Consultancy – Anna works for the Andersons Centre as a Farm Business Consultant.
15:55 Anna’s writing.
18:19 Everything that Anna does works together.
20:15 Rural Pod Media message.
21:04 Anna’s Nuffield on the ethics of dairy calf management.
23:45 Some of Anna’s visits and takeaways.
26:30 What changes does Anna predict in dairy ethics moving forwards?
28:52 Perception of ethics in different countries.
30:46 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural.
31:10 How did covid impact on Anna’s travels?
33:49 The influence of Anna’s Nuffield on her and how she takes it forwards?
35:33 What is next for Anna?
37:17 A piece of advice that Anna would give her younger self.
39:14 Anna’s message to the public.
39:52 Anna’s message to farmers.
40:45 Podcast recommendation – Pasture Pod. Also Invisible Women.
42:00 Ben rounds up.