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Young Farmer Focus: Ethan Kinney, Tranmere, Wirral

Ethan Kinney, 17, studies agriculture at Reaseheath College and is part of the Sainbury’s horticulture and agriculture apprenticeship scheme. He spends his spare time in Cumbria helping friends farm and writes a monthly agriculture blog.

Growing up: I was just a normal townie until I saw the countryside. I went to Cumbria and was lambing 1,700 sheep first time round and never wanted to leave.

 

I am now studying agriculture at Reaseheath College and I am also on a Sainsbury’s apprenticeship.

 

Every month we go out with college to either a Sainsbury’s farm or supermarket to understand how our food chain works.

 

Just before Christmas, the 12 who had been picked for the apprenticeship, including me, went to the Sainsbury’s conference.

 

It was great because it meant it was time to get suited and booted for the day to listen and learn about agriculture and the use of antibiotics among many other things.

 

Hobby: I do not really do much in the week because of college, but when I am off I like to head up to Cumbria for different farming adventures. I also write a monthly blog for a digital magazine.

 

Time spent in Cumbria can include anything from the basics, such as herding and shearing, to the likes of fell-gathering, which is often long walks or getting stuck a few times on the quad.

 

I absolutely love lambing time up there, because not only do you have the pleasure of bringing life into the world, you get to do it with such a view.

 

Brexit: I think when we leave the EU we should just keep our British products on our shelves.

 

It is a frustrating battle to encourage people to buy British and support their local farmers when we have our supermarkets which seem to not care and will put anything on the shelf which will earn them a profit.

 

I think people are definitely not educated enough about the importance and the beauty of what farmers do on a daily basis to feed our nation.

 

Young farmer: It is really quite hard as a young person starting in the industry, especially for people like myself who are not from a farming background.

 

It can be difficult finding experience, because I have found not all farmers like the fresh ideas and enthusiasm we often show.

 

However, in the future, I would definitely like to become a full-time shepherd and, on my days off, if I do not come back home, it would be good to do some contract shepherding to earn a little extra.

 

My dream place to do it would be the Lake District, as after lambing last year, I fell in love with it.

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