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Young farmer focus: Sam Walton, 29 - 'Diversification gives us the chance to tell our farming stories'

Sam Walton, 29, is a farmer’s son currently working on the farm at Tatton Park. He is a former student and assistant herd manager at Reaseheath College and is keen to help educate the public on where their food comes from.

Conversation: Ever since I can remember, I have always loved to talk to people about farming.

 

Growing up on the family farm which was a diversified farm visitor attraction gave me every possibility to do that. As well as milking 200 cows and farming 280 hectares, we also welcomed 80,000 visitors to our farm annually.

 

Today, I work on the farm at the historic Tatton Park in Cheshire.

 

Working in the farm team, my main task is showing the visiting public around and delivering talks and demonstrations, telling everyone the story of how their food is produced and what we have to do every day as farmers to make that happen.

 

As farmers, we all need to be better at telling people about what we do before somebody else tries to do it for us.

 

This is why I feel diversification is so important as it gives us the chance to get people on to our farms and tell that story.

 

On Saturdays, I present the breakfast show at Cheshire Silk 106.9. As all farmers will know, sometimes the radio is your best friend in the milking parlour, so I always get a lot of farmers getting in touch with the show.


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New Zealand: Back in June, I was awarded the John Platt Travel Scholarship from Reaseheath College and Cheshire Agricultural Society. In January, I fly to New Zealand for three weeks to see how farmers over there get visitors on to their farms and whether there is the same focus on alternative farm income as we have here in the UK.

 

I have arranged to meet farm owners to discuss how the farms have evolved and the challenges they face as they take their farms forward.

 

I am flying to Auckland, then working my way down through to the North Island, then through the South Island, visiting a number of farm parks, an alpaca farm, a farm stay experience and even a number of lavender farms.

 

Hereford: I am also spending a few days on a farm that specialises in my beloved Hereford cattle.

 

Being a Hereford breeder here in the UK, I am keen to meet a few New Zealand breeders and look at Hereford genetics out there.

 

I am hoping to use my YouTube channel Sam on the Farm to video diary each day of the trip. I cannot wait to start my adventures.

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