A young Hockliffe farmer had an eventful commute into school when she arrived driving a tractor to raise awareness of women in agriculture.
Anna Hunt, 17, of Watergate Farm, drove the family Case Tractor to Bedford Girls’ School at 6.45am this morning (March 29) to raise the profile of females in the industry.
In what was her last day as Head Girl before her International Baccalaureate exams begin, Anna was greeted by pupils who answered her questions about life and work on a farm.
Anna, who travelled at 40mph up the A421, said: “The journey was alright as I had left early, although there was a bit of a tailback; I had plenty of traffic trying to overtake me!
“Luckily, my mum was in the car behind me for support, and the Year 3 and 4 Junior pupils were standing outside to greet me - I don’t think they knew what to expect!
“As it is my last day as Head Girl, I wanted to do something fun to spark the girls’ interest.
“It’s important that females are aware that agriculture is a diverse field and a viable career for them. There are many possible paths to take as a farmer, from crop science and finding solutions to the issue of feeding the world’s growing population. There’s lots of current affairs linked to agriculture.”
Anna has lived at Watergate Farm, near Hockliffe village, since she was a baby.
Their rural home is a third generation family farm and Anna’s grandfather, Henry Hunt, 89 still helps out, and was “very excited” about Anna’s tractor journey.
Anna’s uncle, Chris, and her father, David, both run the farm, and her cousins and mother, Sally, help out too, with Sally undertaking farm assurance visits.
Anna is member of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, and hopes to study Biology at Durham University.
She said: “I really enjoy working on the farm because I grew up here and it feels natural to me.
“I think I am lucky to have found something that I enjoy, which doesn’t feel like work.
“I really enjoy working with the livestock and showing cattle in the ring at Young Farmers’ events, and after university I hope to come home to work on the farm with my brother, John, 19.”
Miss MacKenzie, Bedford Girls’ School Headmistress, added: “The girls should be inspired by the example Anna sets with all the work she does for promoting young farmers; the sight of her tractor on our front lawn certainly made an impression.
“There’s now plenty of career options within agriculture, and we want the girls to realise that there are no gender barriers in any industry.”
Anna drove her tractor home from school at c.3pm this afternoon.
The Head Girl has a driving licence and also completed a ‘tractor test’ aged 16.
To find out more about agricultural and farming careers visit: www.agrifj.co.uk.