‘Support needed to get foot on farming ladder’

Amy Johnston

Each month we ask a young farmer for their views on farming and rural youth. This month we caught up with Amy Johnston from Belhelvie JAC

Name: Amy Johnston.

Age: 25.

Club: Belhelvie JAC.

Where do you stay? I stay on the family farm – Nether Corbshill, New Deer, Aberdeenshire.

Do you hold or have you held any office-bearer roles at Young Farmers? I am currently chairwoman of East Aberdeenshire District, and in the past I have been club chairwoman, secretary and treasurer.

Tell us about your background in agriculture: From a young age, I was involved in the family farm – helping out with the cows, sheep and mum’s vegetable and flower business.

What do you do for an occupation? I own my own dog grooming business – Tails & Trails Dog Groomer.

What sparked your interest in agriculture? Feeding and looking after orphaned calves and lambs when I was young.

What is the most rewarding thing about working in the farm industry? Seeing young life being born in the spring time and watching them grow throughout the year.

As rural youth, do you think there is something we should be doing additionally or differently within the agricultural sector? It is very hard to get into agriculture with the cost involved so anything that would help getting a foot in the industry would be a big help.

Where do you see the farming sector in 10 years’ time? Hopefully with more young people working in agriculture, more environmental schemes and becoming more efficient.

If you could pass one piece of advice to someone looking to get into the sector what would it be? Work hard and get agricultural training, and be willing to take advice

We can’t end the interview without taking about Young Farmers so tell us about your experience – why did you join? My friends were joining and I always had an interest in farming.

What do you most enjoy about Young Farmers? Stockjudging, competitions and the social aspect – I have met so many new people and made great friendships.

How do you feel Young Farmers has impacted your life? It has helped me gain so much confidence. My friend had to drag me to meetings when I first started as I was so shy. When I first started I could never imagine speaking in public.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to join? Join up as soon as possible and take part in as many competitions as you can. It’s not just for those who wear wellies.