Chloe Shorten’s passion for pigs is contagious and her commitment to the animals under her care has landed her nominations for two major industry awards.
From buying the boars Christmas presents and giving them carrots as a special treat, Chloe is dedicated to keeping the pigs she looks after happy.
The 22-year-old – who manages a 1,100-sow indoor pig unit for the Innes family at Dunscroft, near Huntly – is in the running for the farm worker of the year award at this year’s British Farming Awards and a finalist in the young pig farmer category in this year’s National Pig Awards.
Chloe, who doesn’t hail from a farming background and originally wanted to become a vet, has been working with pigs for the past five years and took on her current managerial role at the age of 21.
She manages an indoor sow unit which focuses on producing gilts for JSR Genetics, with all boars finished on another unit run by the Innes family.
“I absolutely love pigs and this is my passion,” said Chloe.
“We pride ourselves on having the highest welfare standards and I will not tolerate anything less than the best.”
Chloe has taken to social media to showcase the high welfare standards on the Huntly farm where she works, and she regularly provides updates on life at the farm via her TikTok account @thatswinelass
She said: “I am very keen to get the younger generation into the pig industry by promoting it and I do this through TikTok where I have over 21,000 followers and 7.1 million views.
“I keep making pig videos and try to promote the industry and educate the public. There’s so much negative press on it [the pig industry] and I want to show that the animals are happy.”
As well as ensuring the pigs under her care are well looked after, Chloe is interested in new technologies and the farm is in the process of installing new freedom farrowing pens, which offer sows more space at farrowing time, as well as taking part in feed trials with John Barbour Nutrition.
Chloe is looking forward to attending the awards ceremonies for both the British Farming and National Pig Awards, and she is especially proud of her achievements due to her age and gender.
“It’s very important to me that young people, and especially females and non-agricultural ones, realise there are loads of opportunities out there,” said Chloe.
“This male-dominated industry is changing and they respect our [female] talents.”
She paid tribute to her employer, James Innes, and said: “He supports me in all my challenges at work, allows me to succeed and gives me lots of opportunities to grow in this intriguing industry.”