A COUNCILLOR dismantling a 20-year farming career is auctioning off her animals and donating funds to mental health support.

District councillor Sue Osborne and husband David are winding up their farming life after the county council decided to sell off their land at Oxenford Farm.

The Osborne’s prized cows are being auctioned off and money raised will go to a series of good causes.

These include South Somerset MIND, and two Dowlish Wake charities, the Speke Hall and the Playing Field Trust.

Cllr Osborne said: “Despite the horror of what is happening to us, and having to dismantle a farming career that has spanned over 20 years in two months, we feel that this is an appropriate antidote.

“Hopefully, the calves will sell well and raise some much needed funds for the valuable work that these grass roots charities do for their communities.

“The lots are to be sold for charities that have played a part in my life.

“Without the support of these three amazing ladies, Suzie from Farm and Community Network (FCN), Jennie from South Somerset MIND and my local county councillor Linda Piggott-Vijeh, I may well not have been here to write this forward.

“I know that they will be there to support us in the coming months and even years.”

David and Sue started at Lower Sea Farm in 1996, before moving to Oxenford Farm near Dowlish Wake in 2002.

A Jersey Heifer Calf called Lady Linda is set to be sold off in support of the Nyumbani Orphanage in Nairobi.

This lot is sponsored by Cllr Piggott-Vijeh and money raised will help the orphanage to buy a cow of its own.

Cllr Piggott Vijeh said: “Having known farmer Sue Osborne and her family for many years, it is with great sadness to see that despite our best efforts they are to leave the farm they have worked so hard to retain.

“Farming is not an easy business, but if I can influence buyers to pay the best possible price, for my lovely Lady Linda then some good will have come out of it.”

Four calves will be sold in support of the causes.

A spokesman for South Somerset MIND said: “The money raised will go towards the charity’s project of putting Project Workers into farms on a one-to-one basis to help those farmers who are struggling with poor mental health but are unable to find the time to seek help.

“The cost of this project over the next two years will be £65,032.”

The auction is set to be held on May 1 by Kivells Agricultural Auctioneers.

Sue added: “The auctioneers have agreed to waive their commission on these lots so every penny will go to these charities.

“Please bid generously so at least some good may come out of what has been a distressing and difficult time for us both.”