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Young Farmer Focus: Megan Hallam, Arnfield, Derbyshire

Megan Hallam, 14, farms on her 930-hectare (2,300-acre) family farm in Derbyshire with her mum, dad and brothers. The farm has a flock of pedigree Swaledale sheep and also breed Mule gimmers.

Tups: All of the Mule gimmer and Swaledale sheep sales have come to an end – although I did not manage to attend them as I had a broken ankle which I did gathering sheep off the moor – so we have been splitting ewes and sorting them into lots.

 

We have been letting the Leister tups loose through late October and early November, and the Swale tups loose through early November.

 

I love to go round the tups on the quad with my dad – we give them a handful of tup feed and put some extra raddle on them.

 

As I am home schooled it gives me more time to be out on the farm, plus it is part of my education which I love.

 

Hobbies: Last spring I started developing a free-range egg business.

 

I sell the eggs in our honesty box on the lane – our hens are pure-bred Black Leghorns which produce a white egg.

 

We advertise our eggs as: ‘Arnfield free-range eggs’.

 

At the moment I am also training a seven-month-old sheepdog puppy.

 

She was from a litter of four and her mother and father are both good hill dogs – my dad has two of the pups and my brother has the other one.

 

I am teaching her to walk by my side and to come in, and shortly we will be trying her on sheep because she seems very keen.

 

Flock: At the moment my sheep flock is quite small.

 

It started during lambing time when my dad gifted me three Leister lambs, which were triplets that were taken off their mother.

 

I brought them up on goat’s milk. It was very stressful trying to get the goats to stay still to let the lambs suck but it was also very fun, and I loved to see my lambs grow.

 

Future: My close future is filled with excitement for scanning – I have a couple of Swale ewes to be scanned this year and a Leister shearling.

 

I am hoping my future in a few years’ time will consist of finishing my school work and exams and starting as an apprentice on the farm.

 

Young people are extremely important in farming because you need to have someone to carry on the family line and the industry in general.

 

It would be very disappointing if you had worked hard to build up a farm and no-one was interested in taking it on.

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