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Young Farmer Focus: Matt Styles - 'It feels so rewarding to build something out of nothing'

Matt Styles is 25 and lives and works on a 1600 acre arable farm in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Along with his wife Floss, he runs a flock of 70 sheep.

Getting started

 

Getting started was not easy.

 

Despite being a fourth-generation farmer’s son and growing up on a 300-acre arable farm there was just not enough land or work for me to stay at home and be involved in the family farm alongside my brother and father.

 

But quite a few jobs later, having worked myself up the ladder from ’the boy’, I am thankful for leaving home and making that leap, gaining new experiences and meeting people along the way.

 

I can happily say my experience is bolstered with a whole host of knowledge learnt from meeting farmers from all across the country and from all backgrounds.

 

Challenge

 

To date, we now have a flock of 70 comprising, 40 breeding ewes, mostly Lleyn and Herdwicks as well as some commercials, along with two tups, one teaser and our first crop of lambs.

 

It is small fry still but a lot of growth in just one year.

 

As 2020 has really been our first full year farming in our own right I do not think it could have been more of a challenge.

 

But despite all that has been thrown at us we continue to grow and all our stock are healthy and in good condition.

 

Lambs are destined for our home delivered meat box service which is a major focus for us to bring the consumer into the whole process from field to fork.


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Farm Safety

 

I am also involved with the Farm Safety Foundation, Yellow Wellies, which regularly discusses farm safety and mental wellbeing in agriculture and my work with them has really helped me combat some of my own mental health challenges.

 

Future

 

While starting out in something completely new has been hard graft, it feels so rewarding to build something out of nothing.


If the young farmers like me, with passion and drive do not come through, then who exactly does everyone think is going to be growing our food in 59 years time?

 

Especially as our population is growing by the minute.

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