Young Farmers profile: Sam Baker explains how the club’s support helped him set up his new contracting business
- Credit: Sam Baker
As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club (YFC) members, SAM BAKER explains how the club's support helped him set up his new contracting business.
Ever since I was a boy, I knew I wanted to work on a farm.
My dad, grandad and great-grandad had all worked on the same farm and whenever we were with grandad, he took us with him to see the tractors. When I got older I went to work with grandad in the holidays and that was it, I was hooked. I passed my tractor test two days after my 16th birthday.
During my last two years at school, I studied one day a week at Easton College to gain my NVQ in work-based, land-based operations. I then moved on to a work-based apprenticeship in agriculture (mixed farming) working on a mixed dairy/arable farm.
After a year on a pig farm, I spent four years on an arable farm learning all aspects of general farm work. I love the variety of work that farming offers and over the years I have gained qualifications in spraying, combine operation, welding, forklift operation and learned valuable workshop skills.
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This year, thanks to the support of Young Farmers, I have taken the big step and gone self-employed as an agricultural contractor, setting up S B Agri Services. With help from the Young Farmers Skills Initiative Fund I was able to get my trailer test which will be a great help in my new business. My next goal is to get a chainsaw certificate so that I can add that to my list of offerings.
As an agricultural contractor, I offer everything from tractor work to spraying, combining or general labouring. This week I am working as a stockman on a local pig farm. My day starts at 6-6.30am. The farm is within walking distance, so I leave around 5.45am. My day-to-day duties centre around the pigs; serving, weaning, feeding, mucking out, vaccinating and loading the animals.
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I joined Diss Young Farmers in 2014 and really enjoy being part of the club. I've been part of the committee for the last two years.
I am on the tug of war team and we are defending champions in the county. We are currently in training for a Four Peaks Challenge in aid of Farming Community Network; our chosen charity for this year. I will be attempting to scale the four peaks with my fellow members on the weekend of May 13-14. If you would like to know more about our challenge, or our club, please visit our Facebook page: Diss Young Farmers Club.
In five years I would like to have grown my business to include the machines for the work I can offer too. I plan to start with a tractor and grow from there.
Name: Sam Baker
Occupation: Agricultural contractor
YFC Club: Diss
How long have you been a YFC member?: 3 years
Diss YFC meets at Burston Pavilion, Tucks Mill, on Wednesday evenings. For more details contact the county office on 01603 731307.