Agricultural Student/Rural Skills Award for Cumbrian solicitor

A RECENTLY qualified agricultural solicitor has been recognised for her work in the rural sector.

Emma Blamire, 25, who lives on her family’s farm at Thursby, near Carlisle, picked up the Agricultural Student/ Rural Skills Award at the inaugural Cumbria Farmer Awards 2021.

Emma is part of Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors’ Agriculture and Estates team, one of the leading agricultural law practices in the north of England.

Emma Blamire, winner of the Agricultural Student/ Rural Skills Award at the Cumbria Farmer Awards 2021

Judges praised how she used her farming background and knowledge of the agricultural industry to give an excellent insight into her work as a solicitor specialising in agricultural law.

Emma also helps out on the family farm and is an active member of her local Young Farmers’ club.

She said she was surprised and delighted to win the award.

“I absolutely wasn’t expecting it when my name was announced,” she said.

“My job involves helping farmers plan for the future, whether that’s expanding, downsizing or diversifying their businesses, and having a farming background does help me understand what they are going through.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the judges, to The Cumberland News for organising the awards, and to whoever nominated me. It was a lovely surprise.”

Around 220 farmers, industry professionals and local dignitaries attended the Cumbria Farmer Awards which were held at The Greenhill Hotel, near Wigton.

Organised by Newsquest Cumbria, which includes The Cumberland News, the 12 categories celebrated the diversity and dedication of Cumbria’s farming sector.

The Agricultural Student/ Rural Skills Award recognises young people who are invested in agriculture and forging a career which will benefit the future of the sector.

Jonathan Carroll, Head of Agriculture at Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, which operates across Cumbria and Northumberland, paid tribute to Emma’s role in the team.

He said: “It’s great to see the future of the firm coming through and contributing to the team. Emma’s award recognises the skills that young farmers can bring into other professions, bringing a practical understanding of the farmer’s day-to-day life into her legal work.”

Cartmell Shepherd’s Agriculture and Estates team was recently highlighted for praise in the Legal 500, a UK professional law ranking which analyses the capabilities of law firms across the world.

Jonathan and fellow director Mark Jackson were recognised as “leading individuals”, while Katherine Pretswell-Walker, who is also a director at the firm, was described as a “rising star”. The firm also retained its Band 1 rating in the rankings, which it has held for a number of years.

After A-Levels at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton, Emma read law in Liverpool John Moores University followed by a one-year Legal Practice Course at Northumbria University.

After doing work experience at Cartmell Shepherd while still at university, she successfully applied for a two-year training contract, spending six months in different departments to gain experience. She qualified as a solicitor in September 2020.

Emma lives at Mid Whinnow Farm, with her parents, Ian and Gillian, her sister Amy and her brother Tom. She is a member of Raughton Head Young Farmers, and regularly takes part in competitions, particularly public speaking.

When she’s not working or competing with Young Farmers, Emma helps out on the family’s dairy farm, which is home to a herd of pedigree Holstein, Friesian and Viking Red cows, and a flock of around 100 pedigree Zwartbles sheep.

Emma added: “I feel very lucky to be following my chosen career in my chosen field, while still being able to live at home, work on the farm and be part of Young Farmers.”

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