BARNSLEY College student Emily Hanson may just be the next big thing in the farming industry.

At just 11 years old, her passion for animals was ignited by volunteering at Goldthorpe Primary School - working with animals from poultry to ferrets, rabbits and guinea pigs.

Emily then began working on her uncle’s pig farm, witnessing first-hand the dedication and hard work required in the industry.

She’s now 18 and a level two agriculture student at the college - and despite not being raised on a farm, she’s now one step closer to her dream.

She said: “I am learning many things that will be useful for my career as a Shepherdess - the hands-on learning experience is enriching and provides me with a deep understanding of animal husbandry that I can use when I can care for and nurture the animals.

“Learning skills such as dagging sheep to clean their wool; halter training for safe movement - and administering injections, foot trims and health checks are crucial for achieving my career goals.”

She’s now secured a part-time shepherdess role alongside her college work - and she remains certain that she’ll one day own a farm for herself.

Macauley Parkin, course leader for agriculture at Wigfield Farm, added: “Emily is a true inspiration for young farming enthusiasts and evidence of the transformative power of passion and dedication.

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“She has consistently impressed as a student, demonstrating a strong work ethic and active participation in both practical and theoretical lesson - her punctuality, politeness, teamwork, leadership, and impeccable attire showcase her exemplary work ethic.

“I look forward to watching her grow as she continues studying her level three agriculture course next year while working part-time on her days off and weekends as a shepherdess.”