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Young Farmers profile: How James Saunders, 20, balances farm work and education

PUBLISHED: 11:21 26 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:21 26 July 2019

James Saunders of North Walsham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: William Love

James Saunders of North Walsham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: William Love

William Love

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club members, 20-year-old JAMES SAUNDERS explains how he balances farm work and education.

James Saunders of North Walsham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: William LoveJames Saunders of North Walsham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: William Love

I grew up on the family farm and so it followed that I wanted to work in agriculture.

For the last three years I have worked for Thomas Love at Walcott Farms in north Norfolk. I am also a part-time student at Easton and Otley College, doing a foundation degree in agricultural management. I am on the first year of a two-year course.

My day generally starts at 7.15am and I could be doing a wide variety of tasks. During the summer I am on irrigation for the potato crops and then the grain cart during harvest. Autumn sees me on the potato cart, carting the potatoes back to the store on the farm and in springtime I am cultivating the land ready for the crops to be drilled.

I enjoy my job. Every day is different and I like that. Most of the time I am tractor-driving. Any big repairs are done by specialists but I do the smaller things like replacing points on the cultivator and general maintenance on the machinery that I use.

I don't mind the long hours. I think spring is probably my favourite time of year as it is good to get back to working the land after the winter jobs. I finish anywhere between 6pm to 8pm but during harvest that can be midnight - although there may be a later start time the next day. It depends on the weather.

I have done my sprayer certificates and my forklift certificate. I'd like to get my towing licence sometime soon as well and I hope to use the Young Farmers Skills Initiative fund to help pay for the cost of it.

I started my YFC life as a Countrysider and then moved onto the senior club, which is just as much fun. It gives me a social life and I get to meet new people and make friends. Seeing new faces is always good.

Young Farmers has helped me with my confidence and my public speaking skills. I quite enjoy the competitions - although it's daunting doing them for the first time, you get better at it and other members help you with what to do.

PROFILE:

- Name: James Saunders

- Age: 20

- Occupation: General farm worker and part-time student

- YFC club: North Walsham

- How long have you been a YFC member? Seven years

- North Walsham YFC meets at Rossi's on Tungate Road on Tuesday evenings. For more details about Norfolk Young Farmers contact the county office on 01603 731307.

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