Farmer Focus: Five job interview tips for young farmworkers

Positive news remains scarce in the beef industry. Prices have stagnated – up a few pence one week, back the next.

Some of the few positives are that the store cattle coming in have had a long season on quality grass, are in better condition and will have a shorter finishing period in our yard.

The other positive is the finishing diet is 18% cheaper than last year. However, the beef price is 30p/kg below the five-year average, putting us at the point where beef producers will exit the industry and not return.

We’re in danger of the industry dropping below critical mass. The whole of the supply chain needs to come up with answers fast.

See also: Analysis: Are beef prices likely to rise soon?

We have been spreading muck continuously for a month, using our newly acquired second-hand Pichon spreader, and as much as it pains me to praise anything French, it’s absolutely awesome – built like a brick outhouse.

We have mucked more than 240ha, mainly concentrating on the strong land to maintain the soil indices and help build fibre. This is the 18th year we haven’t needed to apply bagged P and K.

We have been recruiting a new member of staff at Osgodby Grange. I don’t want to tar all young people with the same brush, as there is some exceptional talent out there, but here are a few tips to help candidates in a job interview:

  1. Don’t call your future employer “mate”, “buddy”, or “pal”. Respect and manners go a long way.
  2. Do some homework. How hard is it to google your future place of work?
  3. Don’t ask if you will be driving the combine. Bear in mind you’re still doing a day at college and you are a total “green horn”.
  4. Your first question straight off the bat should not be to be “How much will I be paid?”
  5. When asked to provide a CV, texting a list of tractors, makes and models you have driven doesn’t count. I want to know your qualifications, experience and skillset.

Thankfully, we have now found an excellent candidate, who I hope will help us to move the business forward.

Doug Dear is a Farmer Focus writer from Yorkshire. Read his biography.