Report

10 reasons I’m glad I’m a farmer

11th April 2017

JB Gill JB Gill JBGill http://www.JBGill.com

Four years ago, JB set up a farm in the Kent countryside, where he lives with his wife, Chloe and two-year-old son, Ace. Their smallholding successfully produces award winning KellyBronze turkeys and free-range Tamworth pork.

Please note: the views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of SellMyLivestock.

1. Wellies
Everybody loves a bit of mud, whether it’s in a health Spa or out on the farm, even Peppa Pig knows muddy puddles are the BEST! And mud goes with wellies like hands go with gloves, so it stands to reason that wearing Wellington Boots makes me glad to be a farmer!

2. Food Glorious Food
Nothing honestly gives me greater satisfaction than seeing the fruits of my labour on the farm. Whatever your farming discipline, there’s no doubt that when you’ve spent the best part of 9-12 months waiting for, and nurturing, a ‘harvest’, the best part is getting to sample to goods! I LOVE the bacon and sausages we make from our free range Tamworth Pork, eating fresh eggs every day and Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without one of our KellyBronze Turkeys.

3. Time Stands Still
Families have been running farms all over the world for generations upon generations but when your children are not quite old enough to be an integral part of the family business it can sometimes be difficult establishing the work/life balance. Now I’m farming, although I literally have to be out there everyday with the animals (including Christmas day) and apart from the times when we’re up farrowing pigs at 2 in the morning, once all the animals are put away or fed by about 4/5pm, I’m able to fully embrace my role as a father and a husband.

4. Keeping Fit
People often wonder whether I work out…the answer is always no! The subsequent reaction is always genuine surprise. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m God’s gift to women but in addition to occupying lots of my time, working the farm keeps me in shape, free of charge…sort of! How about chasing 6 Tamworth pigs around a 3 -hectare field, after they’ve mischievously broken through their electric fencing! Anybody still need gym membership?!

5. Tractors
Lots of little boys (and some girls!) dream of being able to drive a tractor all day, every day, don’t they?!? Well, I certainly did and now, my dream has become a reality! I don’t quite drive the tractor daily but tractors are just great and whenever I meet someone who asks me whether I have one, the answer is a resounding “YES”.

6. Down On The Farm
I genuinely feel like the luckiest farmer alive. As rewarding as it is rearing animals and working on the land, my passion for music/entertainment will never die and despite the change of lifestyle, I’m so glad that owning a farm has made me eligible to present my BAFTA nominated children’s show for CBeebies. ‘Down On The Farm’ is a brilliant introduction to the world of farming and the outdoors and it means that I can unite two industries I’m incredibly passionate about, farming and entertainment.

7. Mucking Out
Admittedly, the jury may still be out on this one. However, one of my most enjoyable moments as a farmer is being in the pen for an hour (or so), on my jack jones, mucking out the pigs. If your household is as busy as mine, you’ll never get peace and quiet like it. Honest. Hand on heart! What smell?!

8. Take Your Kids To Work Day
When it comes to taking your kids with you to work, surely farming is the best occupation (sorry, I know I’m a little biased). My little boy, Ace, 2 ½ years, literally cannot get enough when he comes down to the farm with me. He really gets stuck in, never wants to leave and, if it weren’t for his age, he’d actually be a great asset! As it stands, he’s more of a liability as a farm hand (those poor chickens) but at least he means well AND we get an incredible opportunity to bond together, surrounded by nature. Funny how this day NEVER falls during those hard, winter months…

9. Rescuing Animals
One of the best things about being a livestock farmer is having the space to house and look after lots of different animals. We don’t have the biggest farm in the world but all of our animals (except the turkeys!) are rescued, from the pigs to the cat! This wasn’t purposeful and it’s not something everyone can do but it’s an incredible feeling to give an animal that was once considered a “waste of space”, a new lease of life and purpose, as well as a home with lots of love, care and attention.

10. Community
Of all my limited, 4 years of experience as a farmer, the thing that makes me most proud is being a part of the wider community. It’s the best industry in the world! The help and support I’ve received from all types of farmers, willing to share their expertise in order to give me my own little foothold in a global industry will never be forgotten. It makes me proud to be a farmer and proud to be a spokesperson for the industry. I hope to continue that spirit of giving and sharing, as my own ventures grow and become established.

Favourite breeds: Limousin cattle, Suffolk sheep, Tamworth pigs

JB sells a signature range of KellyBronze turkey products at www.kellybronzefarmers.com/JB

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