Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Arable Farming Magazine

Arable Farming Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

LAMMA 2018

New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
Login or Register
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days
Already a Member?

Login | Join us now

Getting Started: 28 and taking on farming

Growing up sat on her grandfather’s tractor, Kayleigh Jones knew agriculture was her dream career. Kayleigh got in touch with Getting Started to tell us her story and encourage others to enter the industry.


Twitter Facebook
Twitter Facebook
Kayleigh Jones, 28, is set to become a new entrant farmer in February 2016
Kayleigh Jones, 28, is set to become a new entrant farmer in February 2016
Share This

Top 10 tips of entering agriculture, through the eyes of a new entrant #GetIn2Ag @misskrjones

'I had to find my own opportunities' @misskrjones. Read Kayleigh's story on how she entered the farming industry #GetIn2Ag

Kayleigh Jones always dreamed of following the family tradition of farming.

 

At 16, this did not seem a viable career option so Kayleigh pursued a career in the sporting industry, becoming a personal trainer and sports coach.

 

Now aged 28, Kayleigh decided to change her lifestyle in order to gain the skills, experience and knowledge to equip her to work in agriculture and follow the dream.

 

 


Read More

Getting Started: Do not give up on the dream - plans for the future and how to achieve them Getting Started: Do not give up on the dream - plans for the future and how to achieve them
Getting Started: First generation farmers, how they found their way into agriculture Getting Started: First generation farmers, how they found their way into agriculture

Q: When did you decide you wanted to work within agriculture?

A: My grandad ran a pedigree Fresian dairy herd until he was in his 70s, and later started up a beef enterprise. As a child I used to sit on grandad's knee to drive the tractors and feed the calves after milking. I always wanted to continue the family tradition, but at 16 when looking at college options, I decided to continue with my part time employment of gymnastics.

 

Working as a personal trainer and sports coach for many years, I realised how disconnected the public were towards health and nutrition and where their food is produced. It was then that I decided it was time to change my track and head into agriculture.

 

 


Q: What barriers have you come across on your venture into agriculture?

 

A: On speaking to careers advisers within colleges, they advised me to contact possible employers. However, without experience, I was unable to gain employment or find any opportunities at the time.

 

I had to find my own opportunities.

 

I had the motivation to learn new skills and an ambition to develop a career within agriculture, but many people did not seem to reply to messages.

 

It was hard finding any volunteer work so I decided to find work experience via a travelling volunteering website, and used the NSA lambing list to find specific sheep work.

 

It was difficult to stay motivated at times when it felt many people do not want to help, but I continued to try and find farmers willing to help new entrant farmers.

 

I completed three lambing placements which helped me to gain confidence and skills, which in turn opened more doors and led me to other opportunities.

 

This eventually led me to work as a manager within a grain store over harvest.

 

 

Kayleigh and the sheep

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: I will be starting as a new entrant farmer in February 2016, by purchasing some in-lamb ewes, then buying in an additional 50 ewe lambs at weaning 2016.

 

My focus will be on pasture fed lamb using a holistic planned grazing approach to improve pasture.

 

I will also purchase stock with recorded genetics and traits for easy outdoor lambing, days to slaughter, growth rates, health conditions and foot problems. The plan is to then monitor these areas when my lambs are born in 2017.

 

I will be using two rams: one for breeding pedigree lambs to expand my flock and sell as breeding stock, and one ram which is performance recorded specifically for growth rates on grass to sell lambs for meat.

 

I wish to expand the flock to 300 and in the future I hope to diversify by introducing a small beef enterprise.

 

I am currently looking to gain further work experience within beef systems locally, and in order to fund the continued growth of the livestock I will continue to work part time until I am able to work as an agricultural contractor.

 

I also wish to run an educational programme for children and families to learn where their food comes from and how our food is grown.

 

This will also encourage them to support British farming and buy locally produced food.

 

 


Kayleigh's top tips on how to enter the farming industry

  • Do not let negativity deter your dreams - while it seems there are many negative people in the industry, do not let these people hold you back. Write down your goals and tick them off as your complete them.
  • Contact anybody and everybody - I have emailed hundreds of people, through social media, farming forums, website enquiery forms and other means looking for work experience placements. The more messages you send, the more opportunities you can find.
  • You are never too old to learn new skills - if you are passionate to learn, this will shine through to hosts or farmers you are working with.
  • Keep reading and learning - you will be surprised what you can learn by reading agricultural publications and farming forums.
  • Get out there and look - visit as many farms as possible. Even if you learn what you do not like doing, or how a system would not work for you, it is all experience which will help you in the future.
  • Do not underestimate the value of networking - You often find networking within agriculture is like a web: people are connected by other people. So always try to be positive and enthusiastic as you do not know who else they may know!
  • Attend as many training days as you can - This not only continues the networking, but it also helps you acquire new skills which you can add to your CV.
  • Do not be afraid to travel - It is easier to find opportunities if you are willing to travel. Most volunteering opportunities offer food and accommodation and will teach you new skills.
  • Decide on a specific area of interest - I was specifically interested in mob grazing or holistic planned grazing. I found a farm which ran that system and volunteered with them in order to understand it further.
  • Apply! - Even if you do not think you will be successful, you will never know unless you try. Ask for feedback on interviews to help develop your skills to succeed in the future.

Getting Started

Kayleigh got in touch with Getting Started through our Twitter page.

 

 

If you have something to say, say it with Getting Started.

Twitter Facebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS