Born and raised on a farm in South East Ireland, Lorna Sixsmith never saw herself becoming a farmer- that’s what her brother was supposed to do. Severe allergies curtailed Lorna’s farming at times, despite having her favourite cows and calves, and she went on to work in the UK as a secondary school teacher.
It was only when her younger brother decided not to farm, fifteen years ago, that the family farm was offered to Lorna and her husband Brian. Brian was working as a scientist but they had always shared a love for cows. They took the plunge and moved back to Ireland, their eldest child just three weeks old.
Now with two children, aged 13 and 15, the couple have bought more land and milk 125 cows and rear all male calves for beef. Working a number of hours on the farm most days, Lorna has also turned her hand to writing with three books published and working on her fourth, winning a number of awards along the way. Would you marry a farmer? became a hit with the farming community, giving a realistic but humorous look at farming life.
As one of the co-founders of the South East Women in Farming Irelandgroup which launched in January, Lorna is keen to connect women in agriculture. “We hold a meeting most months and focus on educating and empowering women, and yes, having some fun too. Twelve of us went over to Wales in July and while spending a day at the Royal Welsh Show, we also met up with many members of a Welsh Women in Farming group. They may be coming to visit us in Ireland soon.”
As co-organiser of the curated Twitter account @IrelandsFarmers, whereby a different Irish farmer tweets each week, Lorna is keen to showcase Irish food production and methods of farming to their 12,000 followers. Lorna feels privileged to be an Ag Woman, championing the Irish farming community- particularly the female ones.
Lorna, you sound like a super busy AgWomen, managing not only farm life but all of your social and communication channels. You are a fabulous advocate for the rural sector as well as women in agriculture, keep up the amazing work.