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County Farms supports Young Farmer of the Year


Oh yeah, well it’s just me and the dog.
There’s
normally something that goes wrong right at the start. So yeah, I start by milking
the cows. After that any AIs that I have to do, you know like trying to get cows
back in calf. Trying to get the cows back out to grass as quick as I can in the morning.
Well there’s about hundred and forty cows in the herd, mainly Holstein Friesian
with a hint of Jersey. Semi-intensive. Cows are pushed for yield. I
try and aim for about 30 litres a day. I grew up in Eccleshall about ten minutes
away from here. I had this miraculous idea that I was gonna start lamb and
sheep just after I left college. I specialised in dairy herd management
when I was at college; I’ve always wanted to milk cows. I never just thought
that I’d be milking my own at 23, well 21, when I moved here. That spring, I lambed
just over 400 ewes. I’ve been shortlisted into the final of the Farmers’ Weekly
Young Farmer of the Year 2019. Yeah I guess it’s exciting times – it’s already
starting to open new doors, new ventures , trips abroad. Yeah I think when I
look back there’s been quite a lot achieved in such a
short period of time. So the county council own 86 farms which
predominately tenanted out at the moment. We do the day-to-day letting and
managing of those to provide rural business opportunities for the people of
Staffordshire and further afield really. Yeah, it provides a vital service really to
get people on the ladder. That first step into farming and also
the second step and beyond. People progress off the estate and within the
estate. I’m a trainee but the two other people in the team are qualified Land
Agents. They can offer advice to you. You obviously get the land, buildings
and a house. You get a full set- up and yeah any support we can
give you. You know we do look for opportunities for investment, so if
you’ve got ideas you’d like us to consider we will always consider things
to be done. Yeah I mean the council [Staffordshire County Council] has
been amazing from day one. I mean like you know, there’s not many people that
would let a 21 year old loose into into a dairy farm you know yeah, it’s
almost it’s almost laughable when you think about it. So yeah, I mean I owe it all to
them at the end of the day for giving me the opportunity. Sam submitted a strong
application form with a business plan, a clear financial forecast of where he
wanted to go with it all , as a few other applicants did as well,
but that led to him being shortlisted to an interview with members of the County
Farms team and councillors, and then it was in the interview he just showed you
know his determination and business skills and drive to make this work. And
you know make it what you wanted it to be. I want to see the business here thrive and expand and you know and grow on, but I think the
biggest job at the end of the day is to help the industry as a whole.

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