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Q&A With Sophie Bell: How I Got Started In Farming

Introduction To Farming
October 7, 2020
Words by
Sophie Bell

Sophie Bell is a final year Agricultural student at Harper Adams University. She studies BSc Hons Agriculture with Animal Science. When she's not studying she helps run her family farm in Virginia, Ireland.

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Q. Have you always been interested in farming?

Sophie: I always had an interest in animals growing up however I became more interested in farming only a few years ago. I was going through my last few years of school, I suddenly just started to get more and more interested in the farming world.

Q. Can you tell us more about your farming background?

Sophie: I'm not from a huge farming background. I took up Ag Science as a subject for my final year studies in school and found it so interesting and I never found it a chore to learn about. Farming was always on my doorstep growing up, we owned a few sucklers and I was surrounded by a good few rural/farm background friends. The sucklers were lovely animals, and nice to look at in the field, all the different colours and breeds - however the sums were not adding up to progress any further with them. So, I decided one day that it would make more sense for our circumstances to switch to store cattle. I even bought a few of my own when I was in school. It has worked a lot better for us and suits our system very well.

Q. When did you realise farming was becoming a serious career path for you?

Sophie: When I approached my final year of school, I was doing my Leaving Cert exams (the equivalent of A levels). My dad had to go away that year to work and as a result I had to take care of the farm at this time. This is when my true interest began in terms of farming and I had to learn a lot, fast. It was a difficult/pressurising time however I got through the year of completing my studies and managing the farm, which was very rewarding in the long run.

Q. You're currently studying at Harper Adams, can you tell us more?

Sophie: I was very fortunate to achieve my dream offer of studying at Harper Adams University. Despite having some practical knowledge I have certainly learned lots in the classroom and on the farm over the past few years of my education, I have also gotten plenty of experience working on different farms whilst studying at Harper.

I am now entering my last year of university and I look forward to what the agricultural sector brings after I graduate. Throughout this whole process, I have shared my experiences online through Instagram, which has grown in the past few years to over 10k followers.

Q. For anyone that might be interested can you tell us more about what you're studying? 

Sophie: I am studying BSc Hons Agriculture with Animal Science. It is a good university; they have some brilliant social and academic aspects. I have grown up so much since going there and it has set me up very well for my future career journey. I look forward to graduating and being highly involved in the agri sector.

Q. Can you give us some words of wisdom for anyone thinking about entering the farming world?

Sophie: For anyone wanting to follow their path or dream or ambition, it is amazing what can happen when you put your mind to it. Everything is possible once you have the motivation and effort – your halfway there. It won’t be an easy road there will be lots of ups and downs, but it will certainly be worth it in the end.

Want to know more about Sophies hands on farm experience or life at Harper Adams? Show some support, give her a follow and ask her yourself over at @sophie_bell_

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