Young Farmers profiles: 23-year-old Tim Kinge talks about the benefits of overseas work experience

Tim Kinge, Norfolk Young Farmers.

Tim Kinge, Norfolk Young Farmers. - Credit: Archant

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club members, 23-year-old contractor TIM KINGE says working abroad gave him the experience and confidence to set up his own business.

Tim Kinge, Norfolk Young Farmers.

Tim Kinge, Norfolk Young Farmers. - Credit: Norfolk Young Farmers

I was brought up on the family farm and I have never wanted to do anything else but farm. I really enjoy the lifestyle, even though there are times when you work really hard and long hours.

When I finished school I went to Easton and Otley College for two years, studying for a Level 2 Extended Diploma in Agriculture. I had a great time at college and through the college I took the chance to work in the Czech Republic for six weeks. I worked mainly on a poultry unit but also worked with cattle and did some arable work.

There wasn't enough work at home for me to be there full-time and I soon realised that I would need to diversify. I became self-employed and in 2016 I started my contracting business. This involved me spending a lot of money on a tractor but has enabled me to arrive ready to work at whichever farm has booked me.

I have done a fair bit of travelling abroad doing farm work in other countries.

When I was 18, I went to Australia for three months. I was mainly driving one of the combines but I also did a lot of fence-erecting and some building work on a massive station in Ballarat, southern Victoria. I went to Canada when I was 19 and remember drilling 6,000 acres of oilseed rape in 20 days.

When I was 20, I went to New Zealand for eight months working for a livestock haulier who did a lot of contracting work.

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Working abroad is a great way to gain plenty of work experience and see how farming is done on a very large scale and in very different environments to the UK.

At this time of year my day starts at about 7am but during the lighter months I can be at work from 5.30am. This week I am helping set up electric fencing for two sheep farmers and every Wednesday I help sort the fat lambs ready to go.

I enjoy the variety that my work entails and I like organising things, within reason, to suit me. When I can, I still like to help out at home.

Young Farmers has been a big part of my life. I have made so many friends and met so many people. It has been great visiting new places and seeing other farms. Through Young Farmers I am planning to do my spray qualifications some time soon but I haven't given up the idea of travelling some more in the future.

PROFILE:

Name: Tim Kinge

Age:23

Occupation: Self-employed agricultural contractor

YFC Club: Diss

How long have you been a YFC member?: 13 years including (five as a Countrysider)

Diss YFC meets at Burston Pavilion, Tucks Mill, on Wednesday evenings. For more details about Norfolk Young Farmers contact the county office on 01603 731307.