Raising livestock and families: the young women farmers of Sooke
Kristy Sivorot does not shy away from hard work. She’s a nurse, a mother of two, a homeschool teacher for the last year, and a livestock farmer on the Sooke and Metchosin border.
She didn’t grow up on a farm. She never had to collect eggs before school or milk a cow that kicked her if she did it wrong. But a few years ago, Sivorot, 41, became uncomfortable with how large beef operations treated their cattle.
“I wasn’t willing to stop eating meat, so I figured I’d better raise my own,” she said, standing on her three-hectare farm in Sooke, covered in hillocks, sunny patches between trees.
Sivorot and her husband bought the property when it came up for sale, though it’s not ideal for farming. Not a lot of the South Island is, mainly being rock and clay. But Sivorot is determined. She started with chickens and a dairy cow and now raises meat cows, pigs, goats and turkeys on rotation. It hasn’t been an easy venture.
Going from city girl to cattle farmer is not something one can do alone. Sivorot learned to lean heavily on the community of farmers around her and discovered many are young women. Like Amber Rowse-Robinson, a 32-year-old who has been raising animals in Sooke for more than a decade.
Rowse-Robinson didn’t grow up in a farm family either. She knew she loved animals but had no idea how enamored with cows she’d become, specifically the critically endangered Irish Kerry dairy breed. She’s one of few people in the world breeding Kerrys, and keeping these heritage breeds alive has become a passion.
Read the full article here: https://www.sookenewsmirror.com/news/women-hobby-farmers-are-part-of-a-food-revolution/