By Frances Jones, farmer, vet and treasurer of the Ceredigion committee
In 2007 when I qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, there was only one direction for a girl who wanted cattle work to move – west!
Devon and Cornwall were popular first job venues, but I wanted to return to the land of my mother and work in Wales. When a job in Aberaeron was advertised I did not hesitate to apply; I had happy memories of spending a day every summer in the town accompanying my grandparents’ Volvo back to the home garage for servicing. The scenery was stunning, the fish and chips equally so, and the sea was beautiful – memorably cold, but for a girl from the Midlands, the thrill of being able to see the sea daily was magical.
What I did not know 13-years-ago was the strength and generosity in spirit of the farming community I was forging a life within. Always honest, painfully so at points, and neighbourly, I used to sometimes get confused as to whose farm I was on as often a gaggle of farmers would appear to get the job done. Pragmatic too, always with lashings of rich, dark humour. Hard working people striving to do the best possible for their stock and their families. I only wish that the world at large showed this community the respect and kindness they showed me when I began to cut my teeth in the industry.
It soon became apparent to me that many people, working all hours in all weathers, had few places to turn for help when life took a turn for the worst. I am proud to have become involved with volunteering for R.A.B.I, to help fund the fantastic service they offer the farming community. Totally anonymously the charity allows people to seek help and advice – a real lifeline to those who perhaps cannot see what way
to go next. My personal involvement has allowed me to make new friends and have new experiences (who knew how to run a duck race?) and develop social friendships with my clients where they are pleased to see me, rather than facing the disappointment of paying for my company on their farm!
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