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Young Farmer Focus: Josh Millichap - 'Being an active member in the ag industry has never been more important'

Josh Millichap, 24, works mostly on his family beef and sheep farm. It has 900 breeding ewes and 85 suckler cows on 220 hectares (543 acres) across three holdings.

 

He studied agriculture with farm business management at Harper Adams University.

Experiences: I take an active role in all areas of the farm business, ranging from future planning and potential diversification options, to bellying lambs and day-to-day feeding routines.

 

I am a recent graduate of Harper Adams University, where I studied agriculture with farm business management. My time at university, combined with my placement on a large-scale dairy and arable farm, gave me valuable experience and new ideas to implement when I moved back home.

 

In addition to working on the family farm, I have a part-time job with a local contractor to supplement my income. I am also an active member of the NFU Cymru Next Generation group.


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Day-to-day: At this time of year, days begin to have a similar pattern as the routine that comes with winter sets in.

 

We have been supplementary feeding all cows on the holding for a few weeks, but as the good weather continues, cattle can still remain out.

 

The herd comprises 20 bulling heifers, 22 autumn calving cows, which have been running with a Limousin bull, and 16 second calving cows that are running with a Charolais bull. The latter of these groups was introduced to fodder beet with silage in mid-December.

 

As a business, we have increased the amount of root crops grown annually, in order to try to reduce winter feeding costs, but also in an effort to increase selfsufficiency and in-hand profitability.

 

On the sheep side of the business, the first batch of tups was introduced to the lowland ewes in December, with the rest of the flock tupped a few weeks later.

 

With the lowland flock, we have used Texels for a number of years and, this year, we have also introduced two Charollais tups for the first time.

 

Reflection: It is fair to say we have all been heavily impacted by the weather. The highly varied conditions have left many with lighter feed stocks running into winter and, with the uncertainty of Brexit getting closer, I feel we are in for a challenging 12 months.

 

Being an active participant in the agricultural industry has never been more important.

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