Comment: Greater farm perspective in unity

Steve Newlove is a member of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire group
Steve Newlove is a member of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire group
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Steve Newlove is a 36-year-old farmer’s son from near Malton, North Yorkshire who has kept his roots in the farming industry. He runs a smallholding where he breeds prize-winning Ouessant sheep and Pygmy goats and works for the Ryedale-based J Wood & Son tractor and machinery dealership.

I didn’t really see myself becoming a sales representative, but having done it for four years now, I love it. We sold the family farm in 2013, keeping around 40 acres which is currently farmed on a contract farming basis.

I worked for a year at another dealership, before being asked to come and work for J Wood & Son, which is somewhere where I feel very much at home. We have a great team here with a forward-thinking attitude. The company is one of the oldest machinery businesses in the country, being formed in 1874.

In this industry, understanding farmers and the fact that there isn’t a “one size fits all” way of approaching a farmer’s needs is a good place to start. Agriculture has its challenges, with the delayed Common Agricultural Policy payments and prolonged steady prices hampering farm budgets. Both of these are out of the control of the farming community, so many businesses that I deal with are looking to lower their input and crop establishment costs, through the use of direct seed drills, so they can, in turn, increase profit margins.

I joined the Future Farmers of Yorkshire group last year so that I can learn from and share information and ideas within the younger farming community. From a business perspective it helps us, as a dealership, to become more proactive in helping our customers to farm in a sustainable and efficient way.

This year I will be an assistant trade stand steward at the Great Yorkshire Show, which is something that I am very much looking forward to. Having attended the show throughout my life, I look forward to becoming part of the fabric of the event.

Next Sunday (April 3) I will be supporting Springtime Live, also organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. The event is aimed at young families who will be able to make ice cream, see chicks hatch and meet Mr Bloom from CBeebies and take part in a host of hands-on activities.

With the help of several of the J Wood & Son suppliers, we will be setting up a display of some very impressive machinery at Springtime Live. The event will enable people to get close to machines they may usually only see from a distance and we will be on hand to explain what the various machines do and how they play their part in making Yorkshire farmers leaders in food production.

For anyone who is just setting out in farming, my advice is to look at your own farm rather than your neighbour’s; respecting the health of your land and livestock is probably the most fundamental part of any successful farming business. Having said that, do get advice and speak to people.

One of the greatest things about our industry, especially in Yorkshire, is that there are so many people and organisations that are there to help.

Steve Newlove is a member of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire group which is supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. It brings together younger farmers, vets and industry supporters. For more details email futurefarmersofyorkshire@yas.co.uk