Lucy Barnes

Lucy along with her family based in the Midlands have brought to the farm another successful enterprise, this runs alongside a 70-acre solar farm, 1200 acres of arable mainly wheat, barley and beans.

Lucy studied Agri-business at Harper Adams University and came to her first job at BQP working with the Supply Chain team. She soon realised Mark Jagger had been to see her father regarding a new build growing farm on her own farm in 2014. Then in her own words “I gradually persuaded Dad to pursue the pig B & B contract for finishing pigs.”

Lucy used Ian Pick for the planning application. “It was very straight forward and easy as was the funding from the banks who again were very supportive as we had some capital available for this investment.”

The family received planning permission in May 2018. The building work began August 2018 and completed in October 2018. “We had a turnkey contract with Quality Equipment to build the unit, we supplied the hardcore. With the build from start to pigs arriving took 11 weeks.”

Lucy then came back to the family farm to manage the pig enterprise moving away from a full-time job at BQP.

“We have two sheds each holding 999 pigs. On average, it would take me about 5 hours in the morning, and a quick check round in the evening, some people may say it takes me too long, but I take pride in what I do, and like to think I do a consistent and thorough job.”

When asked about BQP Lucy stated “I believe in their values, in terms of pig welfare and both farmer and customer partnerships. They are also forward thinking and innovative, which I think is motivating in such a challenging time for farmers, with issues surrounding pig health and the uncertainty into Brexit and the financial problems.”

Lucy’s main piece of advice to would be new applicants is “Talk to farmers who have the experience with managing the new build style, ask them what they would recommend. I know looking back, there are probably things I would change, but it would probably require more investment.”