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Young farmer focus: Jack Sadler - 'Planning will be key as more farmers diversify'

Jack Sadler is a 26-year-old graduate rural surveyor with CLM, a firm of farm business and environment consultants. From Cheshire, Jack is carving a career in the overlap between agriculture and conservation.

Game meat

 

I have shot and fished with my dad ever since I can remember, so I always encourage people to eat more game.

 

Pheasant and partridge meat especially are versatile, healthy, locally available and about as free-range as you can get.


I was a BASC volunteer for six years as a lad and one of my previous jobs was working for a sporting agency providing shooting opportunities on UK estates and overseas.

 

Through this I had access to a lot of game meat. Anything you do with chicken, you can do with a pheasant.


Farm conservation

 

As Basic Payment Scheme support is phased out and we move towards the Environmental Land Management scheme, conservation is becoming a more integral part of farming businesses.


Agriculture is no longer solely about maximising outputs, although that is crucial, but about how we can protect and enhance the environment and make the most of the revenues available for doing so.


I loved science at school, so I studied biology at Cardiff University.

 

Farming and land management came later in life for me and I am convinced more young people will do the same – come to our industry having science and conservation-related backgrounds.


I am currently studying a rural estate and land management post-graduate course at Harper Adams University and also plan to start my assessment of professional competence for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Doing those while working full-time means it is certainly going to be busy.


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Planning

 

I am really enjoying learning about the planning system and this is an area that will become more relevant to farmers as they look to diversify to raise new income streams, whether it is through offering holiday lets, opening a farm shop or offering a new tourist attraction, to name just three examples.


The farm at home is mixed grass and arable, but we are reintroducing livestock and considering diversification options.


The planning system can be complex, but there are many opportunities for farmers if they can navigate it.


Rugby

 

I started out playing football but was converted to the egg-shaped ball at 12 and have played at various clubs and levels since – one of the highlights was being part of the Sale Sharks Academy.

 

I recently made the tough decision to hang up my boots due to a recurring knee injury, but I am still hoping to have the occasional charity run-out.

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