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Young farmer focus: Nathan Allen - 'No-one should go through a bad day by themselves'

Nathan Allen, 24, is a third-generation farmer and currently manages two farms in the heart of the Lake District, in Winster Valley and Cartmel.

Background

 

I am a a third-generation farmer, with my family having a tenanted farm and my grandad owning a farm.

 

Since I could walk, I was always with my dad, learning and watching, stemming my passion for agriculture.

 

I studied level 2 agriculture at Newton Rigg College for one year on the basis that I wanted to get to work as soon as possible.

 

As I am dyslexic and struggled through school, I dreaded going to Newton Rigg, but can honestly say it was the making of me.

 

I will always be very grateful for the lecturers’ hard work and encouragement.

 

Work

 

I am currently farming 607 hectares across two farms, with 324ha of pasture and meadows, 162ha of woodlands and wetlands, as well as 121ha of rough ground which is suitable for Luing cattle. All of the cattle are high health status, BVD-, leptospirosis- and level one Johne’s disease-free.

 

I also participate in the Farm Assurance Scheme.

 

Cattle-wise, I currently have 60 Luing cattle and 25 Simluings. All youngstock is kept until 18 months old and we breed our own replacements.

 

The Luing cattle winter outside all-year-round and come in for a two-week period in spring to calve.

 

I also have a flock of 500 North of England Mules, 250 Swaledales and 400 Hill Cheviots.

 

The Mules lamb at the start of February and finish lambing by the first week of March, enabling me to take advantage of the early spring market trade, with the hill sheep starting in the middle of March.


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YouTube

 

I started a YouTube channel called The Lake District Farming, which highlights to the public what British farmers deal with on a day-to-day basis and where their food comes from.

 

I am very proud to be a British farmer adhering to the high quality standards we have.

 

Having the channel has filled me with confidence and a passion to do more, and it is great to read all the farmers comments and feedback on what I am putting out there as well as learning from them.

 

Being a single dad with a six-year-old daughter is very challenging at the best of times, but I would not have achieved what I have so far without my family and staff.

 

I soon learned there is no ‘I’ in team and involving them in discussions takes a huge weight off my shoulders.

 

YFC

 

I am currently a member of Crook Young Farmers Club. For the past 40 years my family has been involved in the club and I hope one day my daughter becomes a member and enjoys it as much as we all have.

 

I believe it is good to try and give what you can to charity, and recently donated two black Cheviot Mule lambs which raised £1,330 for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

 

Fear

 

My dad and grandad taught me you should never say ‘can’t’ and you should never back down from a difficult challenge. If you fear anything you are always going to fear something.

 

Farming can be very cruel at times and there will always be great highs and lows, but no-one should go through a bad day by themselves.

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