A young farmer is aiming to become top of the crops in the final of a national competition.

Rebecca Kelsall, 21, launched a business breeding rare saddleback pigs at her uncle’s farm in Lower Withington last year.

Her business – Pigling Pork - now sells a variety of free-range, outdoor-reared pork products including sausages and roasting joints.

Now in a bid to be able to buy some of her own land she has entered the Farmers Weekly Apprentice competition.

She is one of 10 finalists battling it out for a top prize of £10,000.

Rebecca said: “I entered this competition as I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet people who have the same ambitions as me.

“I also wanted to get an insight into the different sides of agriculture as I mainly just rear pigs at the moment. Currently I don’t have my own land so if I was to win this competition the money I get would be used to buy some acreage.”

Helping her uncle rear some turkeys for Christmas kick-started Rebecca’s passion for farming.

She went to Reaseheath to study equine management and is now at Harper University studying agribusiness.

As well as running her own business Rebecca, who lives in Sandbach, works as a relief milker for dairy farmers across Cheshire.

Rebecca added: “The business has been going really well but I’m taking a short break as I’m off to Genus as a breeding programme

“As for the competition, I’m preparing by doing some research into business ideas and entrepreneurship, as well as driving all sorts of tractors and machines.”

As part of the competition she has travelled to Easton and Otley College in Norfolk to participate in a series of business challenges based loosely on the hit TV show The Apprentice.

Farming minster George Eustice endorsed the competition. He said: “Campaigns like the Farmer’s Apprentice are an important part of how we promote the industry as an attractive career choice and I fully support it.”