At just 18, Erin McNaught was offered the chance to run the family farm, a big leap for a young woman who had just achieved an impressive set of A levels and with university beckoning.
But such was the draw of Pandy Farm that she seized that opportunity and two years on her grandfather, her ‘Taid’, has made her a partner in the business.
The circumstances which started her farming career, her grandfather’s ill health, aren’t those she would have chosen but with his guidance she has introduced changes that have made the farm more profitable.
Expanding sheep numbers from 20 to 400 was the first step, and later replacing the suckler herd with a dairy-to-beef calf rearing enterprise.
And she hasn’t abandoned her academic studies either as she is currently studying for a degree in geography and environmental sciences too.
Agriculture is embedded into every aspect of Erin’s life, even in her leisure time, through the YFC movement and through sheepdog trialling.
In 2018, she won the Young Handlers title at the International Sheepdog Trials and the following year was part of the duo who won the One Man and His Dog trophy.
Those achievements led to appearances on popular television programmes including Blue Peter.
In 2022, she took on a new challenge as an NFU Cymru Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, using this role to highlight to politicians the challenges facing family hill farms.
Erin is just at the start of her career and has many business ideas she intends to explore.
Being part of the Agri Academy is particularly relevant to that, she says.