I may be biased but in my opinion rural north Bedfordshire is a lovely spot. Time spent at university aside I have never strayed too far for too long. I grew up here with an interest in, but no direct connection to, agriculture. Aged sixteen, I wrote a letter to a dairy farmer in the village asking if they would teach me to milk cows. In response I received a phone call from a somewhat bemused gentleman and an appointment in the milking parlour at 5.30 AM on the following Saturday morning. Within five minutes I was hooked and a week or so later I was working as a relief milker. Determined to start farming on my own account from that point I soon acquired my own small flock of sheep and over the years I managed to gain some experience by fitting agricultural work around studies and academic research.
My interest in dairying was further peaked by milking on farms in Aberdeenshire and Cumbria and lambing 2000 ewes in the Scottish boarders, instead of revising for my finals, rapidly developed my knowledge of sheep. Also determined to gain some arable experience, I did a harvest season on a big grain growing farm in the home counties. My enthusiastic approach to driving their rather large tractors did not go unnoticed by the farmer or the farm buildings. Alongside professional work as an engineer I was able to build up my sheep flock and then develop a small farm in nearby Carlton to include cattle, goats and pigs. Cheesemaking with my own milk had always been a goal and we successfully made and marketed a small range of artisan blue and soft cheeses for a number of years. Our current main focus is on producing the best possible high welfare, grass fed, rare breed meat.