Video: What to expect at Farmers Apprentice bootcamp

The third Farmers Apprentice competition is open for entries.

Ten lucky people will have the opportunity to spend a week at Bishop Burton agricultural college, where they will put through a series of challenges to select one overall winner.

This is bootcamp.

It is intensive, but inspiring, as previous Farmers Apprentice contestants testify. So how can 2016’s bootcamp finalists prepare themselves for arrival at on Sunday 10 July?

The 360ha farm at Bishop Burton has a broad range of farming interests – from a dairy unit to arable, beef, sheep and pigs – so expect something arable, something with livestock and a heavy dose of machinery application and business decision-making.

Soak up everything that you are told, and shown, advises Farmers Weekly’s Karl Schneider. “There’s a reason behind all the challenges, talks and tours that you will be given.

See also: State-of-the-art venue to host Farmers Apprentice bootcamp

“It might not always be spelled out to you, but make sure you are on the ball, listening hard and answering questions.

“The experiences that you are given, tested or mentored on will be used at some stage throughout the week.”

“Supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus. Great experience, huge learning curve revealing things you never knew about yourself.”
Annabelle Story (2012 finalist)

Di Wastenage will be joining Karl Schneider in the judging line-up. She and husband Peter are the 2015 Farmers Weekly Awards Farmers of the Year.

The pair manage five traditional dairy farms in Devon to a very simple, but highly profitable, template with first-class grass management and grazing at the heart of their success.

“I will be looking for someone in this year’s competition who is engaging, enthusiastic and relishes the challenges of bootcamp.

“I want to see them learn, grow and develop their skills as they complete the different tasks each day.”

The bootcamp challenges are designed to reflect the environment that farmers operate in day to day, week to week. They will test an individual’s ability to work under stress, think on their feet, problem solve and work in a team as well as lead and influence. 

The 10 contestants are likely to come from very different backgrounds; some might have no farming experience and others will be born to it, so there will be mentoring and support where needed.

“It gave me such a boost confidence-wise and I learned as much about myself as I did about farming.”
 Sam Gosling (2014 finalist)

The prize of winning a year-long £25,000 internship with Farmcare will be a huge motivator, but that will be quickly forgotten as the contestants immerse themselves in the tasks at hand, discover how to overcome obstacles thrown at them and work in teams to deliver a successful result.


If you are 18 to 25 years old and looking for that first step on the ladder to launch a career in agriculture then apply for the 2016 Farmers Apprentice.

The competition is open both to people with no background in farming and those who are already working or studying within the agricultural field.

The winner will walk into a year’s internship on Farmcare, one of Britain’s biggest farming businesses.

See the Farmers Apprentice website for details on how you can apply to take part in the competition.

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