Not only did Laura Hodgkins leave her job, she left her entire life to start a brand new adventure in agriculture.
Working as a project manager in cities like London, making the move to agriculture must have felt like stepping in to a completely different world.
Although she has now found her farming feet, Laura Hodgkins recalls some of the biggest, nicest and surprising things she has learnt about the industry, that she and many others would never have known before.
1. Before farming grass was just...grass to me. I would drive past fields of the green stuff and not even bat an eyelid as to what its specific use was or how fast it was growing. Now I’m out with a measuring stick working out it’s dry matter, Or lusting over different herbage mixes!
2. I never realised that there was such an amazing community within farming. Farmers really help each other out - from lending out kit and machinery through to the solidarity of having a little moan about the weather. There is a real old school community spirit. Plus, everyone knows everyone in the farming world.
3. I never knew that I would become obsessed with checking different weather apps on my phone - but only believe the ones that show me what I want to see.
4. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: bailer twine can fix almost any problem on the farm - I can’t believe I didn’t know about its value before farming! I always carry some in my pocket wherever I go around the farm.
5. I didn’t know that I would never be on time again, and that my non-farming friends would brand me as ’flakey’. I mean, are you even a farmer if you don’t have to go and round up escapee sheep before making it to plans with friends?
6. People are always intrigued by your job. I didn’t know that when I say I’m a farmer, it would always be followed by a conversation that started like this: ’really, how interesting? Well, when we were watching Countryfile the other day...’ or ’oh gosh, do you have to get up at 4am?’
7. There will be no such thing as ’just a five minute job.’ In fact now I have banned this phrase from being used on our farm. As soon as someone uses the phrase, it will mean you’ve cursed the task in hand and that ’five minutes’ can easily turn into ’five hours’.
8. It is acceptable to consume 4 crumpets (with jam) before 8am,because you need the energy and you’ve been up for 3 hours already.
9. That farming is very much a lifestyle, not just a career. You wouldn’t be able to do it if you didn’t love it.
10. That the most valued and superior colleagues on the farm would be the dogs!