Young Farmers profile: Why James Skipper, 23, engineered a career with farm machinery

PUBLISHED: 15:22 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:22 14 June 2019

James Skipper of North Elmham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: Norfolk YFC

James Skipper of North Elmham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: Norfolk YFC

Norfolk YFC

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club members, 23-year-old JAMES SKIPPER talks about his satisfaction at landing a job as an agricultural engineer.

When I left school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I trained as a car a mechanic for a year and from there I decided to study agriculture at college, but I didn't like being confined to a classroom again.

I tried a range of different jobs, including being a chef.

When chatting to a friend about what I enjoyed and telling him about wanting to be outside more he suggested I have a look at agricultural apprenticeships, particularly the one offered by Ben Burgess (the Norwich-based John Deere machinery dealer) as an engineer.

I have worked for Ben Burgess for three years now. First of all I was a sales demonstrator then two years ago I moved into the workshop to start my three-year apprenticeship as an engineer.

Due to the farming seasons, there is a lot of variety to the job and each day is different. On a typical day I start work at 8am and spend a lot of my time in the workshop, sometimes working with qualified technicians to do repair work or working on my own to service tractors and other farm machinery. I also get plenty of opportunities to go and visit farms to work on their equipment and meet our customers. It's good to work with people who have similar interests as a team.

I joined North Elmham Young Farmers when I was 20 after a friend at work took me along to a meeting and I have been going ever since. I enjoy the social aspect of YFC and trying new things on competition days such as tug-of-war.

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I have made many new friends in my club and from other clubs in the county since being a member. As a club we aren't the biggest but we have really good meetings and are a friendly group of members who are keen to see that the club does well.


Name: James Skipper

Age: 23

Occupation: Agricultural engineer

YFC club: North Elmham

How long have you been a YFC member? Three years

- North Elmham YFC meets on Wednesday evenings at the Railway Arms, North Elmham. For more details about Norfolk Young Farmers contact the county office on 01603 731307.

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