Farmers Apprentice 2016 Finalists

Read the profiles of the Farmers Apprentice finalists who headed to the 2016 Bootcamp.

Thomas Gent

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.

Interesting fact:

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

Age: 18
Location: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Joseph Weston

Competitive cyclist Joseph was 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.

Interesting fact:

Joseph eventually wants to own his own deer park.

Age: 22
Location: Overton, York


£25,000 Farmcare apprenticeship

Thomas Meeson


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.

Interesting fact:

Thomas entered the 2015 Youth-Ag Summit, and his essay ranked in the top 10 of the UK

Age: 25
Location: Bideford, Devon


Farmcare 6 month placement

Sam Bennett

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.

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.

Age: 21
Location: Southam, Warwickshire

Lucy Wild

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.

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

Age: 22
Location: York

Camilla Hayselden-Ashby


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.

Interesting fact:

Camilla once performed on a West End stage.

Age: 24
Location: Kenardington, Kent

Florence Mannerings


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.

Interesting fact:

Florence has worked with schools and on healthcare projects in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Age: 20
Location: Compton, Winchester

Emily Davis


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.

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

Age: 20
Location: Aubourn, Lincolnshire

Daniel Hawes

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 this 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.

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.

Age: 20
Location: Eye, Suffolk

Chloe Dunne


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.

Interesting fact:

Chloe’s middle name is Narnia.

Age: 19
Location: Burbage, Leicestershire

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