Meet Gabby

Meet Gabby, one of our Herd Managers…

Thursday 15th February 2018

Gabby has been working here for a good few years now, and always knew she wanted to work in farming.

“My mum works in the farming industry and I used to enjoy visiting farms with her when I was young. My first job was feeding calves when I was 15.

Now my average day starts early at 4:30am! I have a quick meeting with the team and explain the plan for the day, and then we do the first milking of the day and the paperwork. We monitor the milk levels for each cow to make sure that the herd is healthy. Then it’s time for breakfast! The rest of the day can vary, could be calving cows, foot trimming, working on the grazing plan or monitoring grass growth. We have a second round of milking in the afternoon before home time and then we take it in turns to do the night checks. The hours are really long but I actually enjoy the early mornings! I am used to being cold now, I think, but some of the winter mornings can still be really bitter!

Lunchtime is the quietest time of the day so it’s good to use that time to catch up on paperwork or to spend time observing the cows. This is such an important part of my job, you have to get to know each cow in the herd and what their normal behaviour is, so that you can tell if there’s something wrong. I love working with the cows. I also love learning new things so I’ve really enjoyed the courses that I’ve been able to go on, and learning new skills on the job.

When I first started working here, I wasn’t expecting the attention to detail to be so important in all that we do. Everything is considered at Yeo Valley – the cows, soils, grazing. I’ve adopted this attitude as my own now; I’m much more picky and like to maintain high standards by making sure even the little things are right. I hadn’t worked on an organic farm before, so it took a while to get used to the extra standards, but now I much prefer it as a farming system and can really see the benefits.

Farming is definitely a male dominated industry but things are changing, and I’d say college courses are becoming more equal in terms of male and female students now. The larger diversity is great and means we’ve got lots of talented people coming into the industry.

When I’m not at work, I do a lot with the Young Farmers Association. We go on different tours and it’s great to get together with other people with similar jobs and experiences.

My favourite moment is probably the recent visit from Michel Roux. They filmed the farm and the canteen at HQ for his programme ‘Hidden Kitchens’. He stopped and spoke to us for a long time about the cows and herd as a whole. I also enjoy the visits we get from the public, or the school children on the days that Farmlink are with us – I don’t think you get that on many other working farms.”

Comments on “Meet Gabby, one of our Herd Managers…”

  • I was interested in Gabby’ s comment about the increased numbers of women wanting farming as a career. I wonder if a higher percentage of women than men are interested in organic farming methods? I hope Gabby is still with Yeo Valley and enjoying the work. It sounds like a brilliant job!

    Rosemary on 26th January 2021 at 3:11 pm

  • Very impressed with your overall set up,I used to be involved in Animal& Grassland farming ex Agricultural colleges, Have xperience of most enterprises, and must say am impressed- keep up with your farming methods

    Ian Vincent on 15th December 2020 at 6:35 pm

  • I found this introduction to farming from Gabby really interesting & how well the animals are so well looked after

    Dawn on 12th November 2020 at 9:22 am

  • My retired husband was a herdsman then factor on hill farms in Scotland. So much has changed in the farming community but lovely to hear from you. Such care and animal husbandry is sadly rare these days that’s why I buy YEO products and will continue to do so. Keep Safe you all and your beautiful cows. Thank you for everything you do

    Deborah Edlmann on 4th July 2020 at 7:49 am

  • Just watched you, Gabby, on Nadiya’s Time to Eat. My children and I were so smitten by how kind and sweet you were about the cows in your care. Not all farmers seem to care but it was lovely to see your kindness and joy in your work. My five year old asks if you could introduce the cows. We came to see more of Wendy and your herd. It would be neat to “meet” your ladies and see more of your day.
    With love from California USA,
    Becca, Charlie, and Finley

    Becca on 27th June 2020 at 3:21 am

  • Ah what a lovely description of your job. Thank you for taking such good care of the cows.I struggle sometimes with the ethics of drinking dairy but I know the welfare and life of a yeo cow is second to none. I live nearby and see how happy the cows are. I couldn’t manage your early mornings but love being around these lovely creatures !

    Lizzie on 22nd April 2020 at 10:04 pm

  • Great to hear that the farming industry is attracting young women. The hours are long and it sounds as though the weather can be harsh, but that doesn’t seem to dent Gabby’s passion for her work!

    Lin on 7th January 2020 at 11:51 am

  • Only found these yoghurts a few weeks back. I stock up for the week now and will buy upto ten to last me almost a week. Yummy stuff.

    Jason on 4th July 2019 at 5:56 am

  • So good to read how well your cows are looked after, and that you like to keep them happy as well as healthy. Also that their food, when they’re inside, is grown on the farm.

    Judith on 8th November 2018 at 10:13 pm

  • Impressed by what I have read about Yeo valley

    jean on 3rd October 2018 at 9:03 pm

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