Young Farmers profiles: Harry Stowell
- Credit: Norfolk Young Farmers
As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club (YFC) members, agricultural engineer HARRY STOWELL explains how an interest in machinery offered him a route into a farming career.
I have always had an interest in farm machinery from a young age, as my father is an independent agricultural engineer.
Growing up on a family pig farm in South Norfolk, I have naturally always been attracted to agriculture, and after leaving school I felt gaining skills in engineering was the best choice for my career.
I love working in farming, as I love the outdoors – sitting in an office nine to five just isn't me. I enjoy new and exciting agricultural technology and machinery. I find it interesting how machines have evolved and moved forward, even within my lifetime.
I love the community within farming, as everyone is friendly and always knows each other and is always willing to lend a hand. I also enjoy the fact that I get to see many of my friends in a professional capacity, which helps me as personal contacts can turn into work contacts.
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I have worked as an agricultural engineer for seven years, starting as an apprentice at Ben Burgess Norwich when I left school at 16. After many years at Ben Burgess, I left to join a local agricultural contractor as a workshop engineer, offering silage making, sugar beet harvesting, biogas harvesting, baling, and feed mill mixing. Before I left school I always did summer work on a local farm, doing various tasks such as corn carting, ploughing, cultivating, and rolling.
Through Young Farmers I have gained many new friends and contacts for my new business venture as an independent agricultural engineer. I have gained confidence within myself, in public speaking and stock judging. I won Junior Stockman of the Year at the Royal Norfolk Show at the age of 12 when I was still a Countrysider.
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I have always enjoyed the Young Farmers community, from going to Countrysider Campouts as a junior member to progressing to being a senior member and going to YFC socials. I have taken on committee roles at Wymondham Young Farmers and have had the dubious honour of being the dame for three years in the annual Pantomime at Central Hall in Wymondham in January.
I am looking forward to my new business venture, being self-employed and operating under the name Stowell Agricultural Engineers. I will be working in and around Norfolk and Suffolk repairing all types of agricultural machinery, big or small. Having had many years of working for others, I thank my former employers for teaching me all that I know and for giving me the opportunities that have allowed me to become the engineer I am today. I am hoping to make a real name for myself and give a top class service to all of my clients.
In five years I would still like to be a really active member of Young Farmers. I hope to become chairman at some point within my club, which has been a big part of my life. I wish to give back to them what they have given to me in support and helping me become who I am today.
Name: Harry Stowell.
Occupation: Self Employed Agricultural Engineer.
YFC Club: Wymondham.
How long have you been a YFC member? 13 years.
Wymondham YFC meets at Lime Tree Avenue Community Centre in Wymondham on Monday evenings. For more information on Norfolk Young Farmers, contact the county office on 01603 731307.