Young Farmers profiles: Amy Kinge
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club (YFC) members, livestock contractor AMY KINGE talks about the demands of rearing animals within a mixed farm business.
A couple days of my week I work on a dairy farm just off the A140 which milks about 160 cows, and every other Saturday I work at the Norwich Livestock Market on the sheep section. However, my main job is on a mixed farm in Fersfield.
This consists of 500 acres of arable – mainly wheat, some barley, rape, beans and fodder beet. There are 450 acres of grass on which there are 200 polled Dorset ewes to start lambing at the end of December, 650 continental Texel X ewes to lamb in March and April. They buy in 500 hoggs to put on stubble turnips. And there are 80 suckler cows, Limousin X Belgian Blues, and 7,000 laying hens, so it's a big and busy enterprise.
I knew I wanted to work in agriculture ever since I was little, from growing up on my parents farm. On the farm of 100 acres we fatten 2,000 intensive pigs, around 750 sheep, 30 suckler cows and 10 Suffolk Punch horses, of which two are my own. We had two colt foals born this year.
My dad and I show the Suffolks in hand at the Norfolk and Suffolk shows, and a few smaller shows, with some success. I have my own flock of pedigree Texels which I breed, selling the rams as shearlings privately and bringing on my ewe lambs to increase my flock.
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My days start at a variety of different times. For the dairy, I start work at 4.30am to feed the cows and calves. I also scrape up the passages and do a bit of milking. For the market I start at 7am.
I have worked self-employed since I passed my driving test at the age of 17, two weeks after my birthday. I couldn't wait to get on the road and be able to work full time.
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I love working in farming. I really like the variety this job offers me because I get to see a wider range of opportunities. This week I have been worming, dagging and foot-bathing sheep, topping, turning and carting hay, carting corn and checking livestock.
In five years I would like to have travelled to different countries to experience their ways of farming. I would like to have my own business and expand on my pedigree Texel sheep flock.
This year I have finished my Level 3 extended diploma in agriculture at Easton and Otley College. I've sheared just over 100 ewes on my second season, and bought a collie pup, now 11 weeks old, named Fern to bring on to work the stock.
Through Young Farmers I have made so many friends who are from both farming and non-farming backgrounds. We also learn a lot of new things from different speakers who come to our club meetings.
Name: Amy Kinge
Occupation: Livestock contractor
Location: R Criddle Livestock Services, Kenninghall
YFC Club: Diss
How long have you been a YFC member: 8 years
Diss YFC meets at Burston Pavilion on Wednesday evenings. For more information, contact the county office on 01603 731307.