A farmer who appears in Clarkson’s Farm has expressed her astonishment and delight after learning that fans rallied together to raise tens of thousands of pounds to help save her farm.
On the Amazon Prime Video series led by Jeremy Clarkson, dairy farmer Emma Ledbury opened up about the impact on her livestock after a significant number of her animals were wiped out by tuberculosis (TB).
Emma lost half of her 60 cows as a result – and after watching her predicament on the TV show, a woman decided to create a fundraising page to try to provide her with some relief.
In just a couple of weeks, the GoFundMe appeal raised more than £34,000, with a goal of reaching £40,000.
Speaking on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, Emma told the show’s host Steph McGovern how ‘overwhelmed’ she felt by those who had donated to the cause.
‘It was a real shock actually. We found out this lovely lady called Beccie, that we’d never met before, a total stranger, had set up a GoFundMe page through seeing my story on Clarkson’s Farm,’ she said.
‘It’s just become quite overwhelming really, the amount of support that we’ve had from the general public in their donations. It’s really lovely that there’s such a big pot there now.’
Emma added that given her brief appearance on Clarkson’s Farm, she ‘never expected any sort of support in this way’.
She continued: ‘It’s become quite overwhelming the amount of support we’ve had from the general public and their donations.’
Taking the large pot of money that’s been raised, the farmer said that she plans on donating some of the proceeds to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).
In doing so, they hope that more farmers can receive help through counselling or advice on what they can do if they’re similarly hit by TB outbreaks.
‘It’s really important that we can share the money because we could spend it quite easily here, but there’s a bigger picture and it’s really important to get that message across that something needs to be done in order to support these farmers,’ she said.
Emma, who runs her 120-acre farm with her husband Pete, expressed how ‘devastating’ it is to lose cows ‘when you’ve spent so long rearing them and getting them to be as healthy as possible’.
‘It’s really hard when you spent so long trying to develop your farm so you’ve got really lovely animals to lose them. It’s really depressing. Mentally you just don’t get over it, you can’t get over losing so many cows,’ she stated.
‘TB is a huge issue within the country. We are one of thousands and thousands of farms that are dealing with TB, who are losing tens of thousands of cows every year.’
Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4 and All4.
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