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Young Farmer Focus: Sam Ainsworth, Preston, Lancashire

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Sam Ainsworth, 24, is a self-employed general farm worker at mixed 141 ha (350 acre) Salwick Hall Farm with 125 black and while Holstein Friesan cows. He also does frequent tractor driving for two local contractors.

 

Dairy: After finishing secondary school, I went to Myerscough College to study agriculture and after two years left with a national certificate.

 

I have since spent the majority of my time on dairy farms, except for an 18-month stint spent working for Genus as a relief artificial insemination technician.

 

I then settled down at M. and S. Tomlinson’s at Salwick Hall Farm, Preston and have been working there for about two-and-a-half years.

 

We milk about 100 Holstein Fresian cows all year round, keeping and rearing all our own black and white heifers with any bull calves which are generally taken through to around 18-months-old before selling them through our local auction.

 

We also keep 250 lambing ewes, mainly mules and Texel cross sheep, and from August to December we take on and rear 1,800 off-farm white and bronze turkeys before selling them for Christmas.

 

Day to day there are three of us on the farm. I do the main afternoon milkings after feeding and looking after youngstock in the morning. We then all turn our hand to general day-to-day jobs.

 

I look after all the breeding of cows and heifers, except the ones we struggle with – we have an Aberdeen Angus bull to help them get back in calf.

 

Throughout summer, I also do some tractor driving for local contractors, often carting silo to neighbouring farms whilst also helping on a nearby beef and sheep farm as and when I can.

 

Brexit: I think there are a lot of ups and down to come through the Brexit process and only over time will we see the full effects – with, I expect, some positives and negatives.

 

The youth that is coming through with new techniques and ideas can bring a new light into the industry, but only if our older peers let us step up and give it a go.

 

Generally, I think we all work in a great industry with lots to be thankful for.

 

There is a certain level of joy in seeing new life develop, whether that be calves, crops or lambs – you cannot help but feel some level of satisfaction.

 

Future: The future of agriculture is bright and is improving every day. Thinking about improvements, on-farm health and safety should always be remembered as lately there has been far too many accidents.

 

One day I would like to take on my own tenancy farm and start to breed my own cows until I have acquired a home breed black and white dairy herd.

 

It would also be good to rear all my own beef calves to stores.

 

However, opportunities seem few and far between and it is often a timing thing.

 

For the time being I am happy to stay focused on my farm role at Salwick Hall improving the herd and bettering my own skills

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