to hear just how different his day is to ours….
Were you always going to be a farmer?
What does your farm produce and who do you supply?
We started sheep 5 years ago with 90 ewes and now lamb 300 and growing. All lambs finish on the farm and go through the farm shop.
We also farrow 16-18 sows and finish around 200 pigs a year. All the pork is soya free and farrow crate free. The pigs spend as much of their lives outside as possible.
We keep around 200 free-range laying hens that move around the fields in a homemade arch on sleds, dragged by the tractor.
2 years ago, we started growing veg to sell at our shop. We started with courgettes, butternut squash, sweet corn and peas. This year, we tried our hand at more than 20 different veg with varying success.
How many people do you have helping you on the farm?
How does your day begin? What does your typical day look like?
What do you love about your job?
What do you hate about your job?
How big a part does the weather play in changing your daily routine?
Drought had affected us this summer, but thanks to our mob grazing system and holistic approach, we managed to withstand it and only fed 3 bales of silage or hay during the season. During the winter, heavy rains can affect my outdoor wintering of 50-60 cow calf pairs. This is because the forage loses quality and the cattle utilise less of it, so we must move the cattle more often, sometimes twice a day, or give them a bigger area to run back across to keep them happy and avoid wastage. Regardless of this, I would still prefer to outwinter these cattle because the calves are much healthier and our antibiotic use against pneumonia fell significantly by keeping the calves outside on well ventilated fields.
What are the biggest challenges facing you right now?
What gives you the most satisfaction in/about your job?
What’s the best purchase you ever made to make your job easier?
What skills do you need to be a successful farmer?
Do you ever take a break and, if so, what do you do to relax?
What’s your favourite time of year?
What are your hopes for the future of your farm?
I hope to create a farm that inspires the next generation of my family to follow in my footsteps, to see farming as a good way of producing a living.