5 minutes with West Country young farmer Millie Grey

Welcome to “5 minutes with” where we get to know one of Britain’s brightest and best young farmers.

These brilliant young people are the future of the agriculture industry and we want to bring their lives, businesses, ideas and achievements to the fore.

By celebrating our young farmers and promoting what they do, we hope to generate even more interest in farming from younger generations and help make sure they get all the support they need to thrive in the future.

See also: Top tips for a career in agricultural engineering

This time we’re getting to know West Country young farmer Millie Grey.

What’s your name and how old are you?

Hi, I’m Millie Grey and I’m 25-years-old.

Where do you come from?

I’m from Thornbury, which is near Bristol and in south Gloucestershire.

Are you on Twitter and Instagram? Do you have a business page on Facebook?

My twitter handle is @MillieGrey; Instagram is @milliegrey2 and I have recently set up a new account – @grovesend_herefords – which documents the growth and progression of four Hereford calves that my boyfriend and I own.

I also have a blog page and update it with interesting things happening on the farm.

What sort of farm do you live/work on?

I grew up on my parents’ farm, which at the time was mainly pigs. In 2001, they decided to diversify and set up a beef farm where we buy Aberdeen Angus bull calves from market at around three or four weeks old, rear them and fatten them at 20-24 months.

I studied at the University of Bath for four years and then returned to work on the farm full-time in 2014. There are currently three generations of my family working on the farm: my grampy, my dad and myself.

What do you get up to on the farm?

Most of my time is spent looking after the calves – feeding them milk, bedding down, castrating and disbudding. But I also help my dad select the fat cattle fit for slaughter and do lots of clipping in the winter.

What do you get up to when you’re not farming?

I love to be active, so when I’m not farming I am cycling on my road bike or taking my new working cocker spaniel out on adventures. I also love baking cakes, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

What’s the best bit about farming?

It’s so diverse and no two days are the same. It’s also very rewarding watching an animal grow from three weeks old to 22 months knowing that all the hard work has paid off.

What’s the most frustrating bit about farming?

Our farming business is so dependent on the consumer market; so it is unpredictable and unstable. We need to supply on demand but also make alterations to the way we farm when demand is low.

Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Still working hard on the farm and progressing the business. Hopefully with an offspring following behind and learning the ropes.

What makes you angry?

I’m quite a laid back and tolerant person, so not much makes me angry.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?

Although I’m not currently playing netball, one of my proudest achievements is representing England at the U17 European Netball Championships and playing for Team Bath in the National Super League.

Another hugely proud moment was for my sister when she was competing at the Beijing Paralympics. She lost out on a medal by the smallest of margins and I couldn’t stop crying as I was so upset for her but also very proud.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Always give your best and if your best is not good enough, then at least you will have no regrets in life.

When you’re in the tractor cab, what’s your top tune, podcast or audiobook?

I usually flick between Radio 1 and Kiss FM. There is usually a good tune on one of these stations. If I’m in my dad’s beloved Case International with a broken radio, I will put Spotify on my phone with a favourite being Ed Sheeran.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing UK farming today?

The uncertainty of what Brexit will bring to the farming industry.

If you are a young farmer or would like to nominate somebody for this feature, please email community editor Oli Hill with your name, age and a brief explanation what you do.