Ian Brown

20 February 1998

Ian Brown

Ian Brown is a third

generation tenant on the

156ha (385-acre) Lee Moor

Farm, Rennington, Alnwick,

Northumberland where he

grows winter wheat, barley

and oilseed rape as well as

spring peas

WINTER lasts longer in the north and I am a patient man, so I do not turn to the T-sum page in FW with the zeal of a maiden aunt looking for her horoscope.

The local trial results from Cockle Park have always backed up my gut feeling that those who will be seen in the next few weeks spreading fertiliser, and we can accurately predict who they are going to be, are doing so to feel better rather than for the cause of profit or science.

As the shared owner of calibration trays, I shall also be finding a day to tray test my fertiliser and check our 18m accord pneumatic spreader is doing its stuff. As an "SP5" kind of a guy I do not expect a problem, although our 10t of urea may be more unpredictable.

The last month saw two milestones -one gives me four weeks of my life back and one takes four weeks away. I have stopped being a Young Farmer (I did not mention behaving like one) as I have handed on my position, representing the Young Farmers of England and Wales on the Council of European Young Farmers (CEJA), to someone younger and fitter.

But as farming is in crisis I feel some mental weight training is needed, so I have started doing a masters degree at Durham University Business School in, wait for it, Entrepreneurship. Yes, I am the only farmer and this is the first time this course has been tried anywhere in the world but I am loving every minute.

So when I qualify in October 1999, I may well have a taste for woolly jumpers, slow trains and balloons that go up, up and away. Watch this space. &#42

Ian Brown may no longer be a Young Farmer, but he is becoming a student again as the only farmer on the worlds first course on Entrepreneurship. Meanwhile he is pausing to reflect before starting the fertiliser spreading.

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