Story of a young mans efforts to become a farmer without the aid of inheretance.
Well first things first. I will soon need to change the sub heading! Having just had another birthday, one more year and I suppose I'll have to drop the word "young". After this last year I have to say I'm starting to feel my age! Several of you have been badgering me for the latest installment of my story. It still amazes me how many of you read my blog. Thank You. I've even had people contact me say that they are inspired by my story and have their own ideas and how should they go about it. I have replied to those people personally and I hope to keep in touch with you.
I found it extremely frustating recently as the locals had made up their minds before knowing our real plans and decided I'm a menace to society that must be stopped at all costs. Trouble is the costs have mainly to be born by me. I'm having to have extra surveys done which is a slow process as I have to earn the money to pay for each one as I go. So far it's costing me an extra £10k because of the objectors. I refuse to give up though. I'm sure the locals would hate my plan B more than what I currently want to do. The irony is they won't be able to object to my plan B! Spiteful isn't in my nature unlike some people.
So I know exactly how the people behind the Nocton Dairy proposals feel.
I've yet to receive my single farm payment! I received a nice Christmas Present from the RPA 3 days before Christmas stating that: My application has yet to be processed. I can't chase it up and will just have to wait until they can pull their finger out! Why are we Brit's so good a playing by the rules? We just roll over and accept things.
Actually farming the land is proving difficult too. It seems people have been warned off from helping me by the locals. A contractor suddenly pulled out from working for me last year siting some excuse. I seem to be some outsider pushing in on a world I know nothing about. A little like "Hot Fuzz". My very near neighbour is proving very helpful though.
I managed to get my first years accounts submitted recently. They made grim reading, covered in red! This year is looking a little better with the cattle contracting work increasing. I wouldn't mind doing some lambing if anyone needs a some help. It would keep me upto scratch I quite enjoy it too which is a bonus I suppose. Especially on nights. So if your in the South East and you want a few hours break give me a nudge.
Well the kids are still enjoying things. When I come home from checking the cattle my eldest keeps telling me "You smell of cow!" Strangely I find it quite a comforting smell. I suppose thats it for now. I did manage to finish it on the train.. I will try and update things again very soon. I'm off to be a godparent this weekend so might have chance to relax and catch up with the family.
I would put some pics up in the blog but it doesn't seem to be working at the moment. Keep in touch everyone.
Well, I was looking at FWi space on my way home from work last Thursday night, (27th Jan) Some great pics by picture ed of the Science Museum. It reminded me of going about 18 months ago with the lads. I've searched back through my blog because I thought I had written about it at the time. Sadly not, so I started to write but didn't quite finish it and post it. Just as well really as I might well have stolen Jane King's thunder. What I had written was very similar. Only now have I had time to re-write the peice and post it
When I went with my family to the Science Museum I was so shocked by what I saw! The lads, aged 5 and 3 at the time, thought it was great as they recognised all the machinery. It was very nostalgic, just how I remember farming as a child. Which is very nice but more of a HIstory lesson than a Science one.!!!
I discussed with my cousin afterwards and he remembered it exactly the same years before when he had come to London with his Ag college.
What I don't understand is that manufactures such as Claas invest in students by sponsering college's to train engineers which they can then employ. Bayer sponser students at the Oxford Farming Conference (thanks to Bayer thats how I managed to go a couple of years ago). It's called advertising. Promotion within the industry. Nothing wrong with that.
The technology used in farming is quite amazing and I'm someone who loves science. GPS control, mapping, controlled environments in buildings, just to start with.
The industry keeps calling for and needs to get more and younger people into the industry. What I feel some have yet to realise is that as more families have exited farming, selling up and retiring, many of these farms have amalgamated and become larger. They are now not always run by families but are "business's" employing people who might have originally had no connection to farming. This demographic is only likely to increase as more families exit Dairy Farming as feed prices increase Pig and Beef margins tighten. Farming needs to attract people from outside the normal farming catchments into the business. This needs to be done at the earliest stage before some other shiny science grips their world.
What we need is an All Industry Approach. So calling "Claas, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, Lely, Lemken, Vicon, Welgar, John Deere, Amazone, Kvernland, Simba, Cousins, Vaderstad, Rabe, Beeson, Accord, Dowdeswell, McConnel, Krone, Kuhn, Teagle to name just some. Building Manufacture's should get involved too. We should be shouting about our High Welfare buildings making farming more efficient. Promoting not only to the public, but the World and more importantly Prospective New (Young as in Children) Farmers. The more companies that join in the less it will cost all.