Nine-year-old Finn Evans has been inundated with words of wisdom from farmers after posting a video online asking for advice on how to get into the industry.
Finn said in the video to Farmer Tom: “I would love to be a farmer when I’m older. It’s not like I have a farm or anything, but I’d just love to learn how to be a farmer if you haven’t got a farm. I’d just love some advice on how you could work up to be one.”
Speaking to Farmers Guide, Finn said he first wanted to become a farmer when he was five or six years old, after being inspired by a local farmer and seeing the tractors drive by near his house.
“There’s a farmer that lives near me and gives me rides on some of the tractors and lets me know about all the operations, so that’s probably what made me want to be a farmer,” he explained.
Popular TV show Born Mucky: Life on the Farm is also a big inspiration for Finn.
“Overwhelmed” by response from farmers
Dozens of farmers posted tips for Finn in response to the video, which was posted on Twitter, and Farmer Tom sent a four-minute video message back to him, advising him to be “curious” as it is “one of the most important skills and characteristics for a farmer”.
Commenting on the response to the video, Finn said: “I felt really happy because all that advice from Farmer Tom and all the other farmers from round the whole world, was great advice and I will follow that advice in my future.”
Finn’s mum Nicola added that they were “overwhelmed” and “surprised” by the response to the video.
“We really appreciated Farmer Tom taking the time to reply to Finn. Everyone’s busy at this time of year and Finn was really pleased and much appreciated it,” she said.
Words of wisdom
In his video message to Finn, Tom said: “It’s important to be curious in your studies. You need to be looking at science and maths and all those things that will help you in your future as a farmer…
“It’s really important when you’re a farmer not only to be good at the practical side of things but to be good at understanding what’s going on behind all the decisions you’re making on the farm.”
Getting work experience on a farm and asking lots of questions is also important, but Tom advised waiting until later in the year, outside of harvest and lambing season. “At other times of the year when farmers have a bit more time I think you’ll find a lot of farmers are really keen to encourage young people and people from outside farming to show them what’s going on inside the farm gate, and to let them get their hands dirty,” he said.
He also recommends following farmers on social media to find out what’s going on in the sector, subscribing to farming publications, as well as trying initiatives such as Open Farm Sunday. Seeing lots of different farms is also important in determining what area of farming to go into, whether that be growing crops, producing milk, horticulture, fruit, fish or flowers.
Tom concluded the video by saying: “Keep in touch, it would be great to hear how you get on as you go through your schooling.
“Who knows maybe you could be driving one of these bits of kit in just a few years’ time,” he added, referencing the tractor behind him.
Since it was posted, numerous other people have offered Finn their encouragement and advice, including arable and mixed livestock farmer Rob Atkin who recommended joining the local Young Farmers Club or asking a local farm for a summer job; while Gillian Fennell suggested making friends with young farmers and getting pen pals to learn more about farming.
Agrii agronomist Kathryn Styan pointed out the other career options in agriculture, such as being an agronomist or seed breeder, while several farmers stressed the importance of agricultural college.
Finn, who wants to be an arable farmer growing cereal crops, said he has watched the video from Farmer Tom “10 times”.