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Young Farmer Focus: James Gledhill, Hessay, North Yorkshire

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James Gledhill, 25, is an artifi cial insemination technician for Genus as well as working on the family’s Glebe Farm at Hessay, near York. They own 60 hectares (150 acres), rent a further 48ha (120 acres) and run 125 suckler cows.


Training: After moving to York in 2009 from my family’s hill side farm in Scammonden, Huddersfield, I studied for an agricultural diploma at Askham Bryan College.


I am employed full-time as a reproductive management systems artificial insemination (AI) technician for Genus, a job which I have been doing for four years and enjoy. I also work on the family farm, M. and S. Gledhill, along with my father, Stuart, and brother, Joe. The farm’s main focus is developing the suckler cow herd.


We are currently calving up to 130 cows and we will be introducing another 40 home-bred heifers next year. I also have a small pedigree herd of Limousin cattle of my own which I am keen to grow.


I work five and-a-half days a week for Genus, going around several farms providing heat detection and breeding service for dairy farms.


Home farm: I enjoy working with different farmers and helping improve the fertility of their herds. At home, I do all feeding, bedding and routine jobs and am responsible for the breeding of the animals.


We focus on producing quality calves, selling the best to the commercial show teams. We breed our own replacements by using sexed semen on the best maternal cows using maternal bulls.


The aim is to keep pushing the cow numbers so that there is enough for me and Joe to eventually come home full-time.


YFC: In my spare time I am an active member of Boroughbridge YFC. The club is growing, with a strong mixture of age groups and improving its rally results.


I am heavily involved with the tug of war teams, coaching the girls and the juniors and pulling in the men’s team. I particularly enjoy the coaching side, as you can help others and see them improve with the time and effort they put in at training.


This year was the first year the girls took part. They showed great team spirit and qualified from Yorkshire to the Northern Area Field Day. Yorkshire members had a fantastic day, coming home from Durham with all three trophies for winning overall, stockjudging and non-stockjudging competitions. With the junior tug of war team, this was their second year of training and the second year of winning county rally two years in a row.


The target next year is to push the men’s team to compete at the Northern Area Field Day and hopefully take all three teams to national in the next two years.

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