Becci runs a 365 ha (hectares) mixed farm on the beautiful Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders. Approximately 200 ha is tenanted from the National Trust.
As a third-generation farmer, Becci’s late husband Richard was passionate about the dairy and taking the farm forward. In 2010 he was devastatingly diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer. With two young daughters, Becci took the decision to take on the farm and continue building the dairy, which she did until 2021.
Taking a step back to analyse the business has led to significant change in its structure. Following through on plans to enable her father-in-law to retire and restructure the staff on farm meant taking some brave decisions and, sadly, selling the herd and moving out of dairy for the moment was one. As a National Trust tenant, though, she is keenly aware of changes coming within the industry and the environmental stance moving forward. Trying to learn and stay a step ahead, she's hosted many on-farm events and is involved with farmer led-discussion groups.
Previously Becci was involved with the equestrian and horseracing industry as Director of a PR and hospitality company. So, although she had always been in and around farming, running and learning about the dairy was a steep learning curve. Through this journey she's developed a wider understanding of the need to develop and centralise the skills and development needed for the industry moving forward. It's for this reason she's passionate about the creation and development of TIAH.
With two inquisitive daughters, education is a personal passion and Becci tries to get local schools out on farm as often as possible to learn more about the food cycle and see the crops growing. “Once on farm the children and teachers are so responsive. It's a really rewarding way to spend a few hours,” said Becci.
Over the past few years Becci was a finalist for Farmers Weekly Dairy Farmer of the Year and a runner up for the RADBF/NMR Gold Cup award and an Emerging Leader at Oxford Farming Conference in 2019.