I’m not really sure of the best way to get things going on “One man and his..” so I apologise if this first post ends up being a bit of a rambling one. I’m a little out of practice on the writing front (more on that later), so you’ll just have to bear with me while I shake off a little of the ring rust and find my “voice” as it were.
I guess introducing myself is probably a good start. My name is James and I’m a 24 year old bearded Welshman from the Brecon Beacons. A wee village called Penderyn, probably best known for it’s sheep sales and, more recently, it’s brilliant Whisky, to be precise.
Working in agriculture always appealed to me, but for one reason or another, I followed a whole host of different paths including working in events, music and journalism that took me down the usual path of school, A levels and University. During that time the thought of farming never left my mind, it was just something I thought I would pursue later in life, perhaps retiring to a wee smallholding or something along those lines.
After 4 years in University, I finally graduated from University and entered the world of work, writing content in an office. It was a good job and it was nice to have the financial security of my wages coming in at the end of every month. I was even able to move in to a lovely flat with my girlfriend and live a comfortable life with all the Space Raiders and Asian food we could dream of. Being a funny old bugger, that wasn’t enough for me and by the end of the year I had decided to jack everything in to pursue my farming dream. Luckily, Iona (the aforementioned girlfriend and Asian food munching partner in crime), is a farmer’s daughter so was understanding and supportive, so I set about trying to find my way in to the world of agriculture.
I contemplated Agricultural College, but I had been in the education system on a permanent basis between the ages of 3 and 23 and hadn’t really enjoyed a single minute, so learning on the job seemed to be the best way to go. I found contact details for an award winning beef farmer named Paul Westaway in the Farmers Weekly and contacted him for some advice. I was invited to the farm for a cup of coffee and a quick chat, and from there I began working weekends on a voluntary basis. Paul is an award winning farmer and I was incredibly lucky that he decided to take a punt on me and allow me to work with and learn from him and will always be grateful for him giving me my very first job (both voluntary and paid) in farming. During the 10 months I spent in Dymock I learnt so much and was able to work with not only a great farmer in Paul and his wonderful herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle but also the likes of EBLEX, McDonalds and a number of major banks.
As much as I enjoyed working on the farm, both myself and Iona felt that we’d had enough of living in Gloucestershire and wanted to move on. Iona wanted to move closer to home and having fallen in love with Scotland the very moment I crossed the border that was no problem with me, so we packed our bags and headed North.
2014 was such a life changing year for me.
The year began with me working weekends on a farm, starting from scratch to learn all I could about agriculture to hopefully help me work towards my farming dream, and ended with a big move to Iona’s family farm in Dumfries and Galloway and, hopefully, the next step on the road to becoming a farmer in my own right!
2015 will, hopefully, be just as exciting and eventful as the previous year and I’ll do my very best to record and share the lot with you on “One man and his…”