Agriculture is a great industry to work in, especially if you don’t come from a farming background. With each day presenting new and different challenges, we asked four new entrants why they entered the industry.
Paul White (picture above) recently started his farming career, with six acres of land in the heart of Lancashire.
Just nine months into farming and Paul says the biggest challenge new entrants face is acquiring land. He raises free-range turkeys and has recently added sheep to the farm.
Paul wanted to be a farmer from an early age, but instead studied rural business and land management at Harper Adams University. He worked for the National Trust as a rural surveyor and also became the leader of his local council. Once the lockdowns eased, Paul decided to take a break from work – just as the British Poultry Council told the nation there would be a shortage of turkeys. It was his opportunity to enter the industry.
Paul now has a weekly segment on BBC Radio Lancashire breakfast show called “Our Lancashire Farm”. He also toured for Spring on the Channel 5 Farm.
You can follow Paul’s journey on Instagram: @pauls_farm_uk
2. Matte Styles
Matt Styles raises sheep on 80 acres in Cambridgeshire with his wife, Floss.
Although he is the son of a fourth-generation farmer and grew up on a 300-acre farm, there was not enough land or work for him to stay on the family farm alongside. of his brother and his father.
2020 was his first full year of full-fledged farming and, he says, his first year couldn’t have been tougher. Although difficult, Matt has thrived and his herd continues to grow in excellent condition. He wanted to bring the consumer into the field-to-table food production process with the introduction of his lamb meat box service.
Now he’s been working on his own for two years and says he never stops learning – and it’s important to always ask questions. His best advice is to always remember to laugh – even on a rainy day when farming is tough.
You can follow Matt’s journey on Instagram: @thehonestfarmer_
Robert McAneney secured his footing on the farming ladder by securing a rental through Yorkshire Water. He fended off the competition and won the 84 hectares (208 acres) at Scow Hall Farm, near Harrogate, Yorkshire in 2021.
Robert’s grandfather had a farm which was unfortunately swept away by foot-and-mouth disease. Robert has always wanted to have his own farm and although he is essentially a first generation farmer, it is very difficult to get land to farm without any ties.
At the top of its priority list are environmental practices with 11 acres remaining for natural forest regeneration. Although there is uncertainty for farmers, Robert is use this as an opportunity to try new ventures and help farm in an environmentally friendly way.
You can follow Robert’s journey on Instagram: @scowhalls farm
4. Sophie Arlott
Sophie Arlott has gone from novice shepherdess to lamb purveyor to Harrods Food Hall and some of the country’s most eminent chefs.
She received the Silver New Entrant Award at the British Farming Awards in October 2015, after turning her hobby into a commercial flock of 200 ewes on 100 acres of leased land and supplying six Michelin-starred restaurants.
As a first generation farmer, Sophie has both enjoyed and endured a steep learning curve as her business has grown. Raising rare and native sheep in the small village of Lenton, Lincolnshire, known as Lavinton, she faced disease, extreme weather and a catalog of business challenges.
His company, Lavinton Lambwas championed by Marcus Wareing, Alain Roux and Sat Bains and appeared on BBC One Saturday Kitchen.
Sophie says it’s very difficult to get into the farming industry as a newcomer if you don’t have your own farm. It is, she says, a learning curve, but Sophie enjoys farming and working outdoors every day of the year.
It was ‘hugely gratifying’ to be awarded New Entrant Silver at the British Farming Awards.
She says, “At the start of my farming career, it was so nice to have confirmation that I was doing something right.
You can follow Sophie’s journey on Instagram: @lavintonlamb
British Agriculture Awards
If you’re new to the farming industry, why not take part in the British Farming Awards New Entrants Award: Against the odds.
It is open to all farmers who have started working in the sector within the last three years. You would be a farmer without the security of a family farm and you would have built a business entirely from scratch. You may have worked your way up to achieve your goals, even if you didn’t come from a farming background or left your career in a different industry to pursue your dream of being a farmer.
To enter or for more information, visit this website.