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Young farmer focus: I love the farming way of life. It's challenging, exciting and always makes me happy"

Jakob Eunson, 20, is an ambassador on one of Shetland’s most enterprising farms, Uradale Farm, offering high quality organic beef and lamb directly to wholesalers and retailers through a butchery service. He is also a former winner of a Lantra Scotland agricultural award.

Farm-to-fork: My father recognised a gap in the market to produce and cut our own meat, enabling us to deal directly with customers.

 

We now sell our lamb and beef to hotels, restaurants, shops and cafes across Shetland, mainland Scotland and further afield.

 

There is currently a big demand for organic Shetland farm produce, particularly products like Reestit Mutton, which is dried and salted lamb that we Shetlanders like to eat during the winter.

 

Perhaps one of the key things I have brought to the farm is to develop the retail side of the business and find new ways to market — because we have a butchery, we are targeting more food and drink events where we can meet and talk to customers.

 

Social media is also a useful tool and has helped boost sales.

 

I have had to brush up on my customer skills which has been a real challenge but very rewarding.

 

Apprentice: The Modern Apprenticeship has been hugely helpful to me.

 

When you are part of a family farm, it is easy to stick to the same old way of doing things but the apprenticeship opened my eyes to new methods and I have since visited a lot of different farms.

 

This industry has become much more technology-driven these days and there are new techniques being introduced all the time, some of which we now use at Uradale.

 

I was also delighted to be chosen as one of Lantra Scotland’s ambassadors.

 

Winning a Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year award back in March opened up so many opportunities for me and this is just one of the benefits I am seeing.

 

Being an award winner and industry champion has given me great confidence and reinforces the idea that your hard work will be rewarded.

 

Next generation: I love the farming way of life.

 

It is challenging, exciting and always leaves me happy and satisfied at the end of the day.

It is very rewarding working with your hands just as our forefathers did for generations. There is something very endearing about that.

 

Of course, working on Shetland presents its own unique challenges because of where we are.

 

The cost of transporting goods here is high and our growing season is only a hundred days long, which is about half what you get on the mainland.

 

That makes it hard to get your crops grown and harvested in time, so there is very little room for error.

 

Despite the difficulties, I love what I do and would recommend it to anyone.


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