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LAMMA 2021

LAMMA 2021

Young Farmer Focus: Annabel Hamilton - 'Young people bring enthusiasm and ideas'

Annabel Hamilton, 28, is an arable manager for Goodfellow Farming, a mixed farm with 1,011 hectares (2,500 acres) of arable, 809ha (2,000 acres) of grass, 250 suckler cows and 2,800 ewes.

Growing up: I was brought up on a mixed farm in the Scottish Borders where my passion for farming began.

 

I have very fond memories of wearing a boiler suit and pedalling around on my tractor.

 

I was a keen member of Reston Young Farmers, where we would go and compete all over Scotland, and I made friends for life.

 

After studying geology at Durham University, followed by a graduate diploma at the Royal Agricultural University, I moved to Lincolnshire where I began a career in farm management.

 

After four years, I moved to Northumberland to join Goodfellow Farming as arable manager to begin an exciting new challenge and further my farming career.

 

Education: Without a doubt I learn something new every day.

 

I am a true believer of learning from your mistakes and that everyone must have the chance to learn.

 

I have been fortunate enough to gain my BASIS and FACTS qualifications, which have allowed me to understand the decisions we make day-to-day.

 

As farming inputs become increasingly more expensive, it is vital we spend money wisely, and for a reason.


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I have also had the opportunity to take part in the AHDB next generation potato programme as well as the NFU sugar industry programme, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

If I have the chance to get involved, I do.

 

Day-to-day: No day is ever the same. My job ranges from operating one of the sprayers, completing farm assurance schemes, ordering fertiliser and seed, to cropping plans or looking after staff and crop storage – which includes brushing out sheds.

 

My motto is that I would never ask anyone to do something if I was not prepared to do it myself.

 

I get involved in all aspects on the farm which I enjoy as I believe it is important to understand the running of the business.

 

Challenges: When attending meetings and talks, I mostly find myself to be one of the youngest and one of the only females, but I have gotten used to it.

 

Women have skills that men do not have, and vice versa, and the ability to look at situations in different ways creates a good balance in the workplace.

 

As UK agriculture faces a time of uncertainty, it has never been more important to encourage and involve the younger generation.

 

Older farmers must continue to involve and hand over more responsibility to younger workers, as there is a fear that younger people will feel pushed out and isolated.

 

Younger people bring enthusiasm, new ideas and have a good grip on technology. Without them, UK agriculture has no future.

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