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Young Farmer Focus: William Awan, 17 - 'My farming started with two heifers for my ninth birthday'

William Awan, 17, runs a farming partnership comprising Exmoor Horn Ewes, polled and traditional Herefords, Dexters and Christmas turkeys with his neighbour, Bob. He is about to start his final year of A-levels in art, photography and biology.

Growing up: I have always been interested in agriculture, but it was when I was given two Dexter heifers for my ninth birthday that my journey into it started.

 

Since then, I have grown my business to farm Christmas turkeys, Dexters, Exmoor Horn ewes and traditional horned Herefords. I entered into a farming partnership with my neighbour, Bob, when I was 14.

 

Farming in a partnership can be difficult, but making sure both parties have the same vision for the business is important, as it allows you to work harmoniously.

 

I am fortunate that my family and my school are all so supportive of my business. I am allowed to take a Thursday afternoon off school to farm, rather than staying to do sports, which is a real help to me.

 

When I have exams my dad and Bob will check on all the livestock for me, which really takes the pressure off. My dad will also drive me to sales and shows, which is a brilliant help as I have not yet passed my driving test.

 

I started my polled Hereford herd, Midford Herefords, in December 2017 with the purchase of Moralee 1 Kate 2nd at the second annual Designer Genes Hereford Sale.

 

She calved a heifer in June and I also purchased Coley 1 Clara in February. I have had a successful summer showing both Kate and Clara.

 

Hereford Youth: I recently went on a trip to Northern Ireland with the Hereford Youth group, which was fantastic.

 

We visited Solpoll Farm, had lessons in clipping and dressing and also had talks on pre- and post-calving nutrition.

 

We went on two herd walks and also visited Tullamore National Livestock Show, where I won Senior Handler at the National Hereford Show.

 

The future: I will be starting my final year of A-levels when I return to school in September and my plan is to study agriculture with animal science at Harper Adams University.

 

In the run-up to university, I will be selling some of the commercial cows and will be reducing the number of breeding ewes as well.

 

I want to continue farming while I am at Harper, so I am making the business low management.

 

My main focus is going to be on the pedigree polled Herefords rather than anything else and I would really like to concentrate my efforts on improving genetics.

 


Read More

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