Sam Hall, 21, works on his family’s mixed farm in Croxden, Uttoxeter. They milk 50 Friesian cross Holstein cows and have 150 ewes, with a further 50 which belong to Sam and his girlfriend. Sam runs his own egg selling enterprise on the side, with 1,500 laying birds.
Poultry: My plan this week was to make some straw, but the weather put that, and indeed the start of harvest, on hold.
So instead, my time has largely been spent getting sheds ready for the next batch of chickens which are due to arrive in the next week or so.
The poultry enterprise is my ‘thing’ on the family farm. I always sold eggs on a small scale from being at school and have been building the business up since.
I now have 1,500 laying birds on my family’s mixed farm, along with Friesian cross Holstein cattle, Suffolk Mules and Welsh Mules.
Farming: I primarily work for my dad on the farm and sort eggs out in between jobs.
We milk 50 Friesian cross Holstein cattle and put cows to a Limousin bull, allowing us to fatten calves for beef.
Earlier in the week, I helped wean lambs and we managed to finish 12 hectares (30 acres) of hay making.
Other than that, my week was like any other, full of routine jobs, grading and sorting eggs ready to be sold.
My customer base includes local farm shops and the demand for buying locally is growing, which is helping my enterprise.
Future: While the future of the dairy industry is uncertain, the same can also be said about the egg industry.
The way I see it, there is more money in broilers, but I have recently bought some ducks to try and expand my remit to selling duck eggs as well. I have just got to remain patient while they start to lay.
In future, I would like to expand my egg business, but this depends on finding more outlets and a demand for the eggs.
I would like to expand the sheep flock and also the family horse feed business ‘Hossnosh’, a molasses forage we sell to feed merchants and stable yards.
YFC: When I am not farming at home, I am a member of Uttoxeter Young Farmers Club, which meets on a Wednesday evening.
While I have been a bit busy working at the moment to attend many club meetings, I recently attended the Staffordshire Summer Ball where Scott Mills was guest DJ. A brilliant night in true YFC style.
We also had our ‘clubs skills events’, which is a bit like a small rally, where we hold competitions such as tractor backing for a bit of fun to get all members together.