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