Robert notches up 50 years of hard graft

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Young people aiming for a career in farming can expect a rewarding career as long as they are prepared to work hard.

Those were the words of farm worker Robert Butler who is celebrating his 50th and final harvest for HB Johnson and Co Ltd at its farm at Danthorpe in Holderness - a job he stepped into after leaving school in 1964.

Described by farm manager Jim Thomson as “irreplaceable”, Mr Butler, of Aldbrough, is retiring after a long career with the firm which farms 510 acres at Danthorpe and Hedon. He was presented with a long service award by company director Mary Beal yesterday.

“Robert’s ambition has been to achieve 50 harvests,” Mrs Beal said. “We are delighted that he has stayed with us for so long and are pleased to take this opportunity to thank him for his great contribution over the years and to wish him well in retirement.”

When starting out in the 1960s, Mr Butler worked as a pig stockman, but his role became more arable orientated over the years as HB Johnson’s emphasis moved to growing wheat, barley, oil seed rape and vining peas, which today form the basis of the farm’s activities.

Asked if he would recommend farming to young people leaving school today, Mr Butler said: “So long as they are prepared to work outside in all weather and put their hand to anything, then farming offers a good and interesting outdoor life.”