Tributes have been paid to Louise Hartley, a Member of the Guild and a reporter on Farmers Guardian, who has died at the age of 24.
Louise, from Bashall Eaves, Clitheroe, Lancashire, passed away on the morning of Friday, July 1, after a short but brave battle with a rare form of ovarian cancer. She was from a farming family, had worked for Farmers Guardian since 2013 and was well known across the industry.
In 2012 she won the John Deere Award on the Guild’s new entrants training scheme for the best student report.
Ben Briggs, a fellow Member of the Guild and Farmers Guardian editor, paid tribute to a ‘shining star of the editorial team’, whose talent for journalism, natural inquisitiveness and writing style made her stand out.
“She also had a wonderful personality which meant she could coax the most in-depth information from interviewees, which is crucial in this job,” added Ben. “She was a credit to FG, to herself and to her family.”
Katie Jones, Head of livestock at the title, added: “Louise was an incredibly talented member of the livestock team. She had an infectious enthusiasm for the industry and was boundlessly creative.
“Her genuine, bubbly personality meant she would put everyone she met immediately at ease and her love for the farming industry, in particular the dairy sector, was no more evident than at agricultural shows where she would love nothing more than speaking to the exhibitors in the stock lines, and watching the action around the rings.”
Louise was a leading member of Clitheroe YFC and was regularly involved with Lancashire Holstein Young Breeders Club, making hers a familiar face to many across the industry as she attended shows and events around the UK.
Emma Penny, Farmers Guardian’s group head of content, said the young reporter was an ‘invaluable’ member of the editorial team.
“Louise started working for FG during her university holidays, and quickly proved to be an invaluable member of the team, so we were delighted when she joined us as a reporter after finishing her degree in agriculture at Newcastle University. She was an imaginative writer, producing really thought-provoking articles, and ensuring she gave readers the best possible information.
Throughout her battle with the disease, friends, family and fellow YFC members raised thousands of pounds for Macmillian Cancer Support and Field Nurse.
Any Member or Friend of the Guild who knew Louise and would like to share their recollections of her can email them to Peter Hill.
Steve Mitchell: Adrienne and I were shocked to hear about Louise’s untimely death, and we feel so sorry for her family, friends and colleagues. The last time we can remember seeing her was at a small cattle show in Lancashire with her father, when we picked up the BGAJ/John Deere Training Award trophy from her that she deservedly won in 2012. It was clear from the moment we met on the course that she would be a brilliant journalist, which in her short life she undoubtedly proved to be. I think it is also worth noting that she maintained close friendships with many of the 2012 course members that she met for the first time that year. As she worked in livestock and news, our paths never really crossed much since then, but I’ll always remember Louise’s broad smile (and accent!), huge enthusiasm for her work, ambition and total love of livestock. She is and will be greatly missed.