We’ve assessed hundreds of entries and watched countless videos. Finally, we’re ready to reveal our 10 finalists for Farmers Apprentice 2016.

Filming at Bootcamp in a field © Richard Stanton

© Richard Stanton

So here they are – the young guns preparing to face a week-long series of tough agricultural challenges to find our ultimate winner. Read their biogs and watch their entry videos below.

Chloe Dunne

Chloe-Dunne

Age: 19

From: Burbage, Leicestershire

Background: Ambitious Chloe might not have a farming background, but that isn’t going to stop her.

Keen to build her experience in the industry, she has had milking and calf-rearing jobs, worked weekends on beef and arable units, and completed work experience at a slaughterhouse.

Her first year of a degree in integrated agriculture and business management at the University of Nottingham has also fuelled her passion for the business side of farming.

Interesting fact: Chloe’s middle name is Narnia.

Daniel Hawes

Daniel-Hawes

Age: 20

From: Eye, Suffolk

Background: Harper Adams student Dan’s passion for the industry was sparked by helping out on his uncle’s arable unit as a child.

Since then he has added to his CV by working as a harvest assistant on a 120ha arable farm, rearing calves on a livestock unit, and completing a stint on a dairy farm in Finland.

Determined Dan says he’s ready to take on the challenge of helping to feed a growing world population, and hopes the Farmers Apprentice experience will help kick-start his career.

Interesting fact: Dan is a member of the Harper Adams rowing club, and crewed for the club’s first-ever win at Shrewsbury Regatta in the men’s fours.

Emily Davis

Age: 20

Emily-Davis

From: Aubourn, Lincolnshire

Background: Aspiring farm manager Emily is in her second year of a BSc in agriculture at the University of Nottingham.

Another finalist without a farming background, she has always been fascinated by the industry and is excited by the challenge of producing food with fewer resources.

Countless weekends and holidays have been spent doing jobs ranging from corn carting and lambing to dairying.

Interesting fact: Emily is learning French in the hope that she might one day work on a farm outside the UK.

Florence Mannerings

Florence-Mannering

Age: 20

From: Compton, Winchester

Background: Trainee midwife Florence grew up on her family’s 200-head dairy farm, where she helped with everything from calving and calf rearing to tractor work.

She is passionate about rare-breed cattle, and has her own herd of pedigree dairy Shorthorns, which she shows across the country.

Florence hopes Bootcamp will give her a chance to work with like-minded people who want to make a positive impact on agriculture.

Interesting fact: Florence has worked with schools, and on healthcare projects, in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Joseph Weston

Joseph-Weston

Age: 22

From: Overton, York

Background: Competitive cyclist Joseph is a retail operations manager in one of the largest bike shops in the north of England.

He enjoys being outside and getting involved in country pursuits, and thinks a career in agriculture would be perfect for him.

He has already developed a plan to build his own farming business and wants to use his time as a Farmers Apprentice finalist to gain the skills and experience he needs to help him on his way.

Interesting fact: Joseph eventually wants to own his own deer park.

Camilla Hayselden-Ashby

Camilla-Hayselden-Ashby

Age: 24

From: Kenardington, Kent

Background: Self-confessed geek Camilla grew up on a farm, but her passion for farming didn’t really take off until she developed an interest in ag-tech.

Determined to learn all she could about new farming technologies, she quit her job at a creative digital agency and went back to university to study for a graduate diploma in agriculture.

Camilla says she’s determined to become the best farmer she can be, and wants to use her time at Bootcamp to learn more about other farming systems, how businesses operate, and how technology could help the industry tackle the challenges it faces.

Interesting fact: Camilla once performed on a West End stage.

Lucy Wild

Lucy-Wild

Age: 22

From: York

Background: Lucy hopes her energy, enthusiasm and wide-ranging skills will help her excel as a Farmers Apprentice.

A qualified chef, she is studying environment, economics and ecology at the University of York, works part-time as a cleaner and secretary, and is restoring a classic 1979 Mini.

Whether she’s walking her dog, riding one of her two ponies, or working on her allotment, Lucy loves being outside – and she says that while she realises farming isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, she knows it’s the industry for her.

Interesting fact: Lucy completed a course at the Warash Maritime Academy, where she learned firefighting, first aid and survival at sea.

Sam Bennet

Sam-Bennet

Age: 21

From: Southam, Warwickshire

Background: Sam is studying product design and technology at Loughborough University, but his true passion lies in farming.

Despite the challenge of getting on to the farming ladder, Sam is determined to develop a long and successful career in the industry, and plans to use his time at Bootcamp to develop his knowledge and learn new skills.

A keen sportsman, competitive Sam is a former Warwickshire Under-18s rugby player, plays American football and founded Loughborough University’s clay pigeon club.

Interesting fact: Sam took part in a 155-mile dog sled trip across the Arctic earlier this year to raise more than £3,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation.

Thomas Gent

Thomas-Gent

Age: 18

From: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Background: Entrepreneurial Thomas may have his hands full being responsible for 64,000 chickens on his family farm, but that doesn’t stop him from coming up with inventive ways to develop the business.

He created and implemented an egg collection recording scheme, built his own aquaponics system, and is looking into developing an anaerobic digestion plant on the farm.

Thomas says he likes to solve problems, and wants to use his Bootcamp experience to boost his skills and find ways to develop his career.

Interesting fact: Thomas is a keen kayaker and scuba diver, and has passed his advanced Padi open-water training.

Thomas Meeson

Thomas-Meeson

Age: 25

From: Bideford, Devon

Background: Thomas grew up working on his family’s poultry unit, but a degree in environmental science put this ambitious young farmer on the path to developing sustainable farming techniques.

Thomas is passionate about finding solutions to the global food security challenge and helping the industry tackle the problems it faces head-on.

He hopes being a Farmers Apprentice finalist will broaden his horizons and challenge his thinking, so that he goes on to become a better farmer.

Interesting fact: Thomas entered the 2015 Youth-Ag Summit, and his essay ranked in the top 10 for the UK.

Watch the finalist’s entry videos

Find out more

See the Farmers Apprentice website for more information about the competition and Bootcamp details, and follow the competition @farmersweekly, #farmersapprentice.


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