Pippa developed a passion for agriculture whilst spending time with her father and uncle on their arable farm in Lancashire. She came to Wales in 2005 to study Agriculture at Aberystwyth University went on to volunteer and work with a number of farms all over Wales. She now lives with her partner on his farm near Machynlleth and, alongside farming, works for Natural Resources Wales.
During her year out at university, Pippa volunteered on a National Trust farm keeping pigs, sheep and cattle. She stayed on for a further couple of years and was responsible for the pig side of the business. Pippa’s role included sourcing new breeding stock, weighing the pigs weekly, culling out non-productive stock and the general day to day management of the herd. During her last year of studies, she created a pig diet for use throughout the entire system, 95% of which consisted of crops that could be homegrown. Liaising with a feeds company, she ensured that the pigs dietary needs were correctly met.
After university she went on to set up her own business managing smallholdings and farms all over Wales, primarily providing a relief service. Specialising in pigs, this allowed Pippa to develop her knowledge and passion for pigs whilst also learning about other livestock systems.
Pippa has worked on several diversification projects at her partner’s farm. In 2018, she began direct selling of various meats including as mutton, hogget, pork, bacon, mutton bacon, and beef. Customers include local shops, restaurants and hotels but they have also had sales as far as Liverpool. Following extensive market research, Pippa and her partner purchased their own pigs in February 2020. Despite only starting with 6 pigs, demand was significantly higher than first predicted and by the end of the year they will have reared 23 fattener pigs with plans to increase numbers further next year.
With first-hand experience of all aspects of pig keeping, Pippa can offer guidance to others within the industry, whether they are newcomers or established pig farmers.
Current farm business
Farming on her partner’s 700 acre beef and sheep farm
25 fattener pigs, with plans to increase to over 40 next year