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Karyn McArthus – International Women’s Day

Karyn is our last but not least feature in our International Women’s Day blog series.

How did you come to apply for the National Sheep Association Next Generation Ambassador Programme?

I came to apply for the ambassador programme after hearing great things from previous ambassadors! I also wanted to further my knowledge within the sheep industry and meet lots of like-minded individuals who I could learn more from. After just one session I understand exactly why I had heard so many great things, I’ve come away feeling very positive and really thinking about my future within the industry!

Do you have a favourite breed? If so why?

I will always have a soft spot for the Blue Faced Leicester, I have a small flock of Crossing Type that are run alongside my Dad’s flock of Crossing Type Leicesters. They say dogs are like their owners and funnily enough I think my Leicesters are similar to me; their entire world revolves around food!

What gets you up in the morning?

There are many factors that motivate me, but the main factors are my dogs including my sheepdogs. They all live in this madhouse, so I have no option but to get up early and get going with them! The office views are great, and the sheep are always awaiting breakfast. With farming, there’s always something to do! It’s obviously easier done on a bright day!

What do you love about British wool?

British wool is a fantastic product! It is a sustainable and environmentally friendly product; sheep are going to always need shorn for welfare reasons so why not use wool over plastic type alternatives that are much poorer for the environment. I am currently awaiting the fleece of one of my favourite Badgerface Texel ewes ‘Madge’ being turned into a rug!

Are there any particular challenges of being a woman in your industry?

I think mostly the biggest challenges are in our heads! Sometimes there can be a bit of bias, particularly with the older generation; and I won’t lie I do get frustrated when someone thinks I won’t manage to do a task because of my gender. But us girls can be just as strong as men, even more so in determination. I don’t like to be beaten!

If you could give one piece of advice to women starting out in this industry what would it be?

When I was younger, I let myself be pushed out of the industry by other people’s opinions, this is one of my biggest regrets. I think if you follow your heart and work hard at whatever you do, you will smash it! Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Dream big and believe in yourself.