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Young farmer focus: Charlie Gardiner, Lyonshall, Herefordshire

Charlie Gardiner, 15, helps his uncle and grandparents at their sheep and arable farms in his school holidays. He hopes to go to agricultural university before buying a farm of his own.

Family farm: My dream is to become a farmer and it always has been.

 

I am looking to go to an agricultural university to develop further skills and then I hope to get a job on a farm nearby, or even better buy my own farm with sheep and arable land.

 

I currently spend my weeks at Cheltenham College, which unfortunately does not do agriculture as a subject as I feel there is a lack of people at my school who have any interest in farming at all.

 

But I am lucky enough to have many family relatives in farming and when I was younger I often spent a long time sitting on the tractors with my grandfather.

 

It was then that I started to realise how much I liked it.

 

I then went on to buy my own ewes two years ago and have been obsessed ever since.

 

Lambing: In my holidays, which are longer than most, I spend a lot of time on my relatives’ farms nearby. They are both sheep and arable farms.

 

I do find it hard though because I feel there is very little time to do what I am really interested in – farming.

 

I also go down to Kington market regularly to see the lamb trade and sell my lambs.

 

This year I have a 238 per cent lamb rate and I am looking forward to lambing them.

 

When I can, I also go to my uncle’s farm nearby who buys store lambs to fatten up and help out.

 

In the rest of my Easter holidays I go up to my grandfather’s farm in Wales where they lamb about 400 ewes.

 

Young people: As I am at boarding school I do not have time to be in organisations like Young Farmers, so I think it will be hard to get into the industry in the future with no farm to inherit.

 

I want to be able to encourage other young people to be interested in agriculture as I see it as such an important part to the industry.

 

There are fewer young people wanting to go into the industry now and I think game consoles are a strong factor why; more games are coming out and people are stuck indoors.

 

I was lucky enough my mum did not let me have a games console, which I think has made me who I am.

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