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Powys exhibition challenges farming stereotypes

Annette Jones of Meadow Croft Farm, Dorstone, with her son, shearing sheep, and Kathryn Tarr of Llanbedr Hall, Painscastle shearing sheep Image copyright Billie Charity
Image caption Annette Jones of Meadow Croft Farm, Dorstone, with her son, shearing sheep (L) and Kathryn Tarr of Llanbedr Hall, Painscastle (R)

An exhibition challenging the stereotypes of farming is being held.

The works feature female farmers including an 18-year-old pig farmer and a 93-year-old with years of experience and go on display in Powys on Friday.

It comes after the National Farming Union of England and Wales appointed its first female president in its 110 year history.

Photographer Billie Charity said she thought it was time to “balance things up”

Image copyright Billie Charity
Image caption Betty Smith of Pen-y-Llan, Westbrook in her farmhouse kitchen

Those represented in the exhibition range from sheep shearers to diary farmers and hay collectors.

“Initially a lot of the women were really reluctant to get involved, because they are used to staying behind the scenes,” Ms Charity said.

“But after the photo shoot, they seemed really happy to have taken part.

Image copyright Billie Charity
Image caption Cherry Phillips of The Priory
Image copyright Billie Charity
Image caption Pig farmer Courtney Gibbs, 18, from Bodenham, with her pigs at Hereford livestock market (l) and Gillian Lloyd of Prospect Farm, Clifford with her Massey Ferguson tractor (r)

“For a long time, I’ve been drawn to the livestock markets in Hay and Hereford, for the interesting conversations as well as the amazing photo opportunities.

“But I realised that, until now, most of my photo subjects have been men. I thought it was time to balance things up.”

The exhibition is free to view and runs throughout the summer at the Shepherds Parlour in Hay-on-Wye.

Image copyright Billie Charity
Image caption Nic Drew of College Farm, Trefecca, with her favourite dairy cow (L) and Peggy Ann Stevenson of Windle Park, Clifford with her organic Hereford cows (R)
Image copyright Billie Charity
Image caption Billie Jones of Home Farm, Middlewood, on her quad bike with her dog Molly

Owner of the Shephers Parlour, Jess Hope-Jones said she was “delighted” to have the exhibition on the walls of the cafe, given its link with female famers.

Juliet Noble’s sheep farm in Peterchurch has supplied the cafe with its sheep’s milk ice cream for more than 30 years.

“Shepherds wouldn’t be here without Juliet’s dedicated and careful work,” she said.

Image copyright Billie Charity
Image caption Hay maker Dundy Smith of Cadwgan, Hay-on-Wye

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