Being a woman in a man's world hasn't put Vanarama Van Hero, Judi James, off her business goal of making a profit by ethically rearing young bull calves for meat, sold via her website www.riversideyoungbeef.com . Travelling up to 100 miles each week in four different locations caring for her cattle, her Isuzu D-MAX Utah is certainly an essential element of keeping her business thriving. But what drove Judi to establish her Dorchester based business in what can be a tough environment both practically and commercially?
Why did you start your own business?
I'm passionate about rearing healthy, high welfare meat from waste dairy bulls, which might otherwise be destroyed. I have an independent spirit, so taking charge of my own future while reducing waste and increasing the availability of all cuts of meat via my own business was attractive.
What's great about working for yourself?
I enjoy rising to a challenge – there are certainly plenty of those! It's great to have the freedom to make my own decisions and the flexibility which comes from not being answerable to anyone – well, just my 'boys' – the calves!
What are the biggest challenges you face running your own business?
Farming is definitely a man's world (though I hope I am blazing a trail for other women breaking into farming!) so I had to fight to be taken seriously when I started out.
Best business tip?
Believe in yourself.
What's been your greatest business success to date?
I was voted UK Worker of the year 2013. It was great to be recognised for my years of hard work and the successful development of my company.
In the past I listened to too many different people which affected my decisions. I've learned now…. just go with your instincts!
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
Dream superpower: Ability to take road rage off our roads
Favourite drink: Champagne
Favourite sports team? My son's school cricket team! Yay! Go Brymore!
Favourite holiday destination? I haven't had a holiday for ten years, but any of our British countryside. Going abroad is missing the beauty that is already on our doorstep.
Dream car? Audi R8
Prime Minister for a day? I would give League Table Recognition for those young people in land based industries. They have been swept aside! Without farming, the world would starve. Why is it not given the ultimate respect?
What would you do of you won the lottery? Buy my own small farm. I have to travel every day, seven days a week to four places to carry out my work.
We hope that you've enjoyed reading about Judi's business. Judi chose an Isuzu pickup as her loyal workhorse, helping her travel the countryside in all weathers looking after the cows. If you are considering leasing a brand new pickup take a look at our wide choice of pickups here. Or if, like Judi, you are interested in an Isuzu, you might be interested in this: