Young Farmers profile: 18-year-old George Lenihan is the 2018 Norfolk Agricultural Apprentice of the Year

George Lenihan receives his Apprentice of the Year prize from show president Ben Turner at the 2018 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Sonya Duncan

George Lenihan receives his Apprentice of the Year prize from show president Ben Turner at the 2018 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Sonya Duncan


As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club members, 18-year-old GEORGE LENIHAN tells us about the work that saw him crowned agricultural apprentice of the year at the Royal Norfolk Show.

George Lenihan, Norfolk Young Farmers.George Lenihan, Norfolk Young Farmers.

I have had a passion for agriculture from a young age and I chose to study through an apprenticeship scheme as I wanted to get the best training while avoiding getting into debt with a student loan.

I would advise anybody to do an apprenticeship, as you get a good education in theory at college and actual hands-on practical on farm.

With college, I have also been on a European-funded trip to Sweden which was invaluable. It was very interesting seeing a different way of farming and new techniques.

I work as an apprentice for Robert Alston of Silfield Farms on his mixed farm of 1,700 acres. I have worked on the farm since last harvest, while I am studying for a Level 3 mixed apprenticeship at Easton and Otley College.

We farm oilseed rape, wheat, barley and dry peas for gluten-free flour production. We also have a herd of Red Poll suckler cows, which are good for the Higher Level Stewardship scheme land, and we also share farm machinery and labour with a neighbour.

Typically my day is from 7.30am to 4.30pm. We all meet in the morning to discuss what’s happening and our tasks for the day.

Seasonal work can mean a lot longer hours are required, which I don’t mind at all. This time of year for me is general maintenance on machinery, some grass cutting, clearing out corn stores and servicing the harvesting equipment.

During my time at Silfield Farms I have learned so much about general farm tasks from machinery to cattle, some estate maintenance in the re-vamping of offices and farm cottages, and game-keeping – with many more new skills learnt a long the way.

I have completed my PA1 and PA2 certificates, Yellow Wellies Health and Safety and First Aid training – and I have won the RNAA Norfolk Agriculture Apprentice for 2018, which I’m really chuffed about.

I hope to go on to take a farm management course in the future and maybe take a tenancy on, running my own flock of sheep alongside the day job – that’s my goal.


Name: George Lenihan

Age: 18

Occupation: Agricultural apprentice

YFC Club: Wymondham

How long have you been a YFC member?: One year

• Wymondham YFC meets at The Rugby Club, Wymondham, on Monday evenings. For more details about Norfolk Young Farmers contact the county office on 01603 731307.

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