Each month we ask a young farmer for their views on farming and rural youth. This month we catch up with Alex Stephen
Name: Alex Stephen
Where do you stay: Inch of Arnhall Farm, Edzell
Office Bearers Roles: District Vice Chairman
Tell us about your background in agriculture: I’ve been very lucky to have grown up surrounded by farming on both sides of my family. Our family farm is a dairy/ arable, however with relatives having beef and sheep I have gained a keen interest in both of those areas too.
What do you do for an occupation: I help run the family Dairy farm focusing on the cropping and monitoring the young stock.
What sparked your interest in agriculture: The involvement from a young age and seeing the passion my family have for the industry.
What is the most rewarding thing about working in the farming industry: The most rewarding thing about the farming industry I think is, seeing livestock and crops growing from a seed, lamb or calf into a finished product and knowing that all the hard work has paid off.
As rural youth, do you think there is something we should be doing additionally or differently within the agricultural sector: I think that it is crucial that farmers unite across all sectors and stand by each other through the tough times. I also think that we as farmers must help educate the non-farming community in any way we can, whether in schools or going into supermarkets and engaging with the public because ultimately our future depends on them.
Where do you see the farming sector in 10 years’ time: With Brexit being so uncertain I think its hard to predict, however I think the industry will continue to automate and farmers will have to try and produce food without the help from subsidies.
If you could pass on one piece of advice to someone looking to get into the sector what would it be: That’s hard for me to say because I’ve been born into it. However, watching my friends who haven’t I would say that you need to be determined, hardworking and be positive.
We can’t end the interview without talking about Young Farmers so tell us about your experience – why did you join: To meet more like-minded people and socialise
What do you most enjoy about Young Farmers: Meeting new people from different areas of the country and visiting all the different businesses and farms.
How do you feel Young Famer has impacted your life: It has allowed me to make lifelong friends and learn new skills.
Any advice for someone looking to join: Go into all new experiences with an open mind and don’t be afraid to have a go.