Countryfile is in Aberystwyth, where Adam Henson visits the town's university to meet the youngsters working towards a career in farming.
Browse content similar to Young Farmers Compilation. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
A traditional seaside town.
Welcome to Aberystwyth,
the wild and windy west of Wales.
Wide open to the elements, Aberystwyth is home
to one of the UK's leading agricultural universities.
Today, I'm here to meet
the youngsters carving out careers for themselves in farming.
To maintain its existing workforce, British agriculture needs to recruit
60,000 newcomers over the next decade.
That's a lot of young farmers.
So I'll be meeting up with some students
from one of Aberystwyth University's farms
to find out what it's like to be a young farmer today
and what the future holds for them.
In fact, today's show is all about young people enjoying
and working in the countryside.
I'll be looking back through the Countryfile archives
to see how young farmers work and play across the country.
From the time Anita met some city children getting their hands dirty
on a Pembrokeshire farm...
Believe it or not, Dan, I have never milked a goat.
Never milked a goat? Right, OK, it's all about to change.
..to when Matt met identical twins
with dreams of running their own farm.
What would you have on your farm?
Sheep? Just sheep?
And a pink tractor maybe.
'And the time I met young farmer Carol Hughes
'during her year-long scholarship on a National Trust farm in Snowdonia.'
When I met you first, the farm was empty.
There was no livestock at all.
Are these the ewes that I saw you buying from Arwyn back in September?
Yeah, these would be the first 40 we bought, so these are...
-Oh, here we go.
Also, Radio 1 DJs Scott Mills and Chris Stark get stuck in
at Vauxhall City Farm to tell us
how they're championing young farmers across the country.
You don't have to be in agriculture.
You can just be interested in rural life,
but you can get involved and be part of it.
Sitting between the Irish Sea and the Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales,
Aberystwyth may be an isolated town,
but in term-time, it's full of students.
Aberystwyth University's grounds are surrounded
by some of Wales' most dramatic landscape,
making it the perfect training ground for our future farmers.
It might be the student social hub down here,
but it's up in the hills where the students are hard at work.
It's not a bad place to study, is it?
The university has a long and proud history dating back to 1872,
when it was established as the first Welsh university.
Since then, Aberystwyth has gone from strength to strength.
The Institute of Biological, Environment and Rural Sciences
has a worldwide reputation for its agricultural teaching and research.
Lamb-based studies have been taught here for more than 140 years.
The university has farmland covering more than 1,000 hectares
or 2,470 acres.
The commercial dairy herd even produces milk
to make mozzarella cheese.
It's also home to the National Plant Phenomics Centre,
which specialises in arable farming, grasses
and developing the crops of the future.
They're very forward-thinking here at the university,
but they need to be, because farming is constantly changing
and the agricultural graduates need to be moving with the times
as, hopefully, the knowledge they're learning will take them on
to be the next generation of farmers in this very progressive industry.
So let's meet our students.
Today, their lessons take them to the lambing sheds,
where I might be able to give them a few pointers...
..unless they know their stuff already.
-So are you all sheep farmers?
-Some and some. So you are? You're not.
-No, I'm a dairy farmer.
-A dairy farmer.
-You know about sheep?
-OK, well there's some and some.
So, over here, this ewe's showing the early signs of lambing.
All of the ewes have come to feed, but she stayed on her own.
You can see a little bit of fluid coming from her already...
and hopefully she'll lie down and give birth fairly soon.
It must be pretty uncomfortable, I'd say.
They keep quite quiet
cos they don't want to draw attention to themselves.
'Before long, we can see the lamb, but the ewe's struggling a bit.'
Looks like it could do with a bit of help.
If I hold her, do you want to go round the other side and...?
That's it. So it's coming out.
Two front feet and nose first.
Pulling in a downward direction.
-You lambed plenty of sheep before?
She's starting to lick it now,
so maybe we'll just let her stand up and we'll back off.
There's a good girl. There's a good girl.
'Spring is the busiest time of year for all sheep farmers.
'These students will soon be fully equipped to deal with any problems
'lambing may throw at them.'
Right, after you.
If you're OK to grab that little lamb
-and see if she'll follow you out...
-..I'll work the gate.
'We've noticed a lamb struggling to latch on to her mum,
'so we're just moving them into a pen to give them a helping hand.'
Think she'll follow you? She's a good mum, isn't she?
Some people might think it looks cruel,
carrying a lamb by its front feet,
but shepherds have been doing this for hundreds of years.
-It doesn't hurt them at all.
-No, it doesn't hurt them at all.
Right, well done, perfect.
OK, guys. So you're a sheep farmer, aren't you? What would you do now?
Well, it's important for lambs to get colostrum when they're born.
The problem with this ewe is she's got bottled teats,
so her teats are quite large, too large for the lamb to suckle,
so needs a bit of help then, to...
We need to assist the lamb to get it to start suckling.
-OK, do you want to have a go at that?
The colostrum is the first milk that a ewe produces.
It's absolutely essential the lambs get that
in the first few hours of life
and, because this ewe's got such big teats,
what Dafydd was saying is the lamb can't actually get on to them
and suckle at the moment,
so he's just going to lie the lamb down and poke it on.
So you know about the importance of colostrum, the first milk?
The colostrum is very important then
cos lambs are born with no natural immunity,
so colostrum is full of antibodies and stuff like that,
so it's very important they get this,
so it gives them some immunity. Otherwise they'd die.
'These students have a lot more to learn
'before they're fully-fledged farmers,
'but they're old hands compared to the children
'Anita met in Pembrokeshire.
'They proved you're never too young to get the farming bug.'
Lower Treginnis Farm has been a working sheep farm
for more than 700 years
but it's what they're up to now that I'm interested in.
It's home to the charity Farms For City Children
that gets youngsters out of town and into the countryside.
Schoolchildren from across Britain come for a week
to experience life on a real farm.
'The project was set up almost 40 years ago by Michael Morpurgo,
'the writer of War Horse, and his wife, Clare.
'But the daily running of this inspirational place
'is the job of Dan Jones.'
What was the thought process behind it?
What did they think it would achieve?
I think they were very, very passionate about having
inner city children, urban children,
experiencing life in the countryside.
Hard work, hard graft, fresh air and contact with animals
and just seeing where their food comes from.
There's some school kids here, they're all getting stuck in.
They seem to be enjoying it. What are they getting from it?
One of the biggest things they seem to have
is just this boost in self confidence, boost in self-esteem,
and they just seem to develop and grow.
Some of them are four inches taller when they leave on a Thursday.
They've just got this fantastic opportunity to develop
a different set of skills that possibly
they can't show in the classroom,
and I think some children don't quite fit in the classroom,
behind desks, sitting down all day long,
but here, it gives them an opportunity to shine.
Are you a farmer born and bred, Dan?
No, I'm not a farmer born and bred. I'm from Swansea city.
I was a primary school teacher for five years
and I used to bring my class of children to Treginnis Farm
and I saw what it did to the children in just a week
and it was incredible, and then a job opportunity came up here.
I thought I'd give it a go and somehow I got the job
and it's been the best thing that's ever happened to me.
'Dan tells me that his favourite activity is milking the goats.'
These seem to be the animals the children can get most contact with.
They're up close, milking them and what's great to see is the children,
at the beginning of the week, who are extremely nervous,
they've never been in contact with an animal such as this.
By the end of the week, they're pulling them into their pens,
out the way, with the bowls feeding, putting the straw and the hay in
and it's like they've been here forever.
-Believe it or not, Dan, I have never milked a goat.
-Never milked a goat?
-Never milked a goat.
-OK, it's all about to change.
So it's just a trap at the top and a squeeze down. In you go.
-So nice trap at the top.
-It's nice and warm.
Yeah, and a squeeze down.
-How's that, Hazel?
Am I doing a good job, kids?
So how many of you would like to do this for a living, do you think?
Wow, there you go.
Remind me, how do I do this?
-Trap and squeeze.
Trap and squeeze. There we go.
Do you prefer being here or at school?
Don't let your teachers hear you say that!
They've only been here a week
and already we've got a generation of future farmers.
-Where are we going next?
-To the lamb shed.
Lamb shed. Lead the way. Lead the way.
'In the lambing shed, we're meeting organic farmer Rob Davies.
'He's been looking after the 800 sheep on Treginnis Farm
'for more than 30 years.'
So you're a busy working farm, you've got hundreds of sheep.
How do you manage to do that
and have children around and all the charity stuff at the same time?
You've got to be organised and I've got some good helpers with me,
particularly lambing time.
Well, I can see you've got quite a few helpers here.
Who loves the lambs?
-Everybody loves the lambs, Rob.
-So do I.
-If you hold your arms out, Anita.
-Yes, there's one.
-Oh, look at that.
-I think I'll give this to one of the children. OK.
-You're all right.
-OK, hold it nicely.
These guys are twins, obviously.
What's the problem that we have when we have triplets?
-That there's not enough teats for the milk.
Not enough teats, yes.
So, if we have a spare lamb,
we either adopt it,
or if we can't find a mum suitable, we feed them with a bottle.
'Once the children have held the lambs,
'they also get a chance to feed them.'
-Have you had a good time on this farm for the last week?
What's been your favourite bit?
I can't believe how fast it's drinking.
And what's the benefit of doing something like this, Rob?
I mean, we do all the technical stuff about diet,
about scanning, about mastitis or whatever,
but we often forget that these children will never get a chance
again possibly in life to hold a lamb,
so that's what they're going to remember.
So I think it reinforces what we do.
With the lambs well fed,
we're helping bring the rest of the flock in for the night.
-This is going to be a bit scary, isn't it?
-Yes, they're coming now.
There they go. Good job.
-That was pretty cool, wasn't it?
-Look at that one.
'The sheep are safely tucked up indoors.
'A great day's work, guys.'
You know, my times in the countryside as a kid,
and certainly my school trips, are some of my most cherished memories.
No wonder they're having such an inspiring time.
This place is unforgettable.
Back in Aberystwyth, I'm catching up with student Cennydd Jones.
He's been helping out on his family's dairy farm
since he could walk. It's not been an easy ride for them,
but with everything he's learning on his course,
Cennydd is hoping to turn things around.
Good morning. Bora da, as we say in Wales.
It's just gone half past five here and we're ready now
to go out to do the morning milking.
I've had my cup of tea
to wake me up and I'll try and finish
as early as we can here today now, it's a Sunday.
As well as working on the family farm, 21-year-old Cennydd
is a full-time student, studying agriculture and animal science.
You're from a family farm, but you still decided to go away and study.
Yes, I think the way that agriculture is moving,
it's a very fast-moving industry
and I think that you need some extra education in terms of...
In order to broaden your horizons, really. I couldn't have learned
all the business, all the grassland, all the livestock science
part of agriculture by just remaining at home.
What does your father think about you coming off to university?
Yeah, he likes it.
Sometimes he gets a bit annoyed when I come back from these farm visits
with these big ideas and we go to arable farms
and we see these big kits of machinery
and I come home with these ideas
and he's quite quick to shut me down on those,
but he does like the fact that I've learned a great deal
in terms of the modern technology that can be implemented
on these dairy units in particular,
and we try to implement as much as we can at home.
Four years in Aberystwyth has been fantastic, in all fairness.
Yeah, good for you.
It's just approaching four o'clock now.
Been out for about an hour now,
just finishing stripping and stuff
and, as you can see behind me,
the ladies are coming in to get milked.
So it's just gone quarter to six now
and we've just finished the milking,
the feeding and the bedding for another day.
I think I'll be watching Countryfile now
and then off to bed.
Back at the University, it's all hands on udders,
as it's milking time here too.
'It's a slightly more hi-tech affair at the uni.
'The cows walk on to a rotary parlour system,
'which allows the farmers to milk quickly,
'efficiently and on a large scale.'
And what makes you so keen on dairying, then?
Well, I've always had a strong interest in dairying.
I can't quite put my finger on it.
I think it's something that's ingrained in you.
The family have always dairy farmed, up until the 1980s,
when they ceased milk production due to quotas coming in.
And I don't know, since I was a young age, I always used to go out
to the old dairy parlour at home and pretend to milk cows and stuff.
So it must have been a sad thing for you as a child, then,
if you love dairying so much,
to have lost the herd at home, and given it up.
Yes, it was a bit sad, but I'd fill my passion
for dairy farming by reading literature about it,
and then when I was old enough,
then I started relief milking on different farms.
So what's happening on the farm at home now?
Well, back in July, we started selling milk again,
we've only just converted back into dairying.
Currently we're selling milk to a local company.
We're a small farm, about 130 acres,
but I think that if we can milk 100 cows,
I think it'll be a very profitable enterprise,
and once the milk price increases a bit,
I think that it's a very justifiable enterprise.
Yes, certainly got that down to a fine art.
-Can I have a go?
Come on, missus.
'These are uncertain times for dairy farmers,
'but Cennydd is learning invaluable skills from his degree,
'which he's passing back to his dad,
'and things are looking good for his family farm.'
A while ago, Matt met another young dairy farmer
making waves on his dad's farm,
but he was taking a different approach
to learning his profession - an apprenticeship.
Nowadays, apprenticeship schemes
come in all different shapes and sizes
and today I'm meeting a couple of young agricultural apprentices
hoping to become masters of their craft - dairy farming.
-All right, lads?
'21-year-old Jason Smith is one of the new breed of apprentices,
'taking knowledge he's learned from college
'and putting it into practice on his dad's farm.
'The first job for us this morning is moving some of the girls that are
'just a few weeks from calving to pens that are nearer the farmhouse.'
Was it always set in stone, Jason,
-that you'd take over the farm from your dad?
-Not exactly, no.
I was never sure, from a young age, what I wanted to do
and it was only until I got a job at a local dairy farm
and I really took to it and that was when I decided I wanted to do it.
That's when I looked for some education.
-And that's where the apprenticeship thing comes in.
'Jason is one of 100 agricultural apprentices,
'studying one day each week at Reaseheath College,
'learning everything from breeding and genetics,
'to business management and planning.'
It's good because it splits up the week a little bit
and it also gives me a bit of learning,
while experiencing on the farm as well, so I really enjoy it, yes.
-It's definitely the right choice for you, then, now?
Yes, and it's also good being involved with sort of a similar
age group of people, all from different farming backgrounds,
and I learn just as much from them as I do from the tutors.
-Right, what's happening with this lot?
-Do you mind just...
-Is she coming out?
-Yes, if you could open that gate for us there
and we'll put this one in the pen.
You going in the pen, girl? Are you going to move for us?
Come on out, my dear.
'Across the country, there are almost 15,000 students
'taking similar courses to Jason.'
'Assessors from the college
'then make regular visits to the students' farms,
'to check that their practical work is up to scratch.'
-Quite keen to go in there, really!
-Bit of space, look.
'Jason's nearing the end of the course
'and has just one more milking assessment to go.'
It's sort of the easiest way of scoring how well I'm doing
and what I'm doing right and if I'm doing it right.
It's also good because they give me a little bit of feedback
and it's all good for my learning.
-It's quite nice to invite them to your place, isn't it?
I mean, they get to see what I do
and where we're from and how we run our farm.
-Introduce them to the girls and what have you. It's wonderful.
Skippety doo-dah down here.
How's that for you, girl?
-There we are.
-They seem happy enough.
-Yes, she agrees.
Good luck with the calving, girls.
OK, I'm going to go and see if I can catch up with the boss.
-He doesn't mess about.
-No, he won't be hanging about.
'Jason's dad, Adrian, a former Reaseheath student himself,
'has been on the farm since he was nine years old.
'He's built on his father's business,
'and now runs a modern, efficient dairy farm
'with 300 head of cattle,
'and I'm joining him to feed up the herd.'
I have to say, Adrian, you've got a tidy farm,
-in more ways than one, my friend.
-It really is something.
I'm guessing, you know, your dream was that Jason, your son, would
really want to take, and be really enthusiastic about taking over.
No, no, he wasn't the normal farmer's son.
He never showed any interest in farming,
and all of a sudden one day he came in my office when I was reading
the Farmers Guardian and said, "I'd like to come and work on the farm."
Ah, what was your reaction?
Well, I didn't drop the paper, otherwise he'd have seen it.
But obviously ecstatic
and very difficult to control my emotions then.
'It's no secret what a tough time this is for the dairy industry.
'The number of producers has been falling sharply
'for the last ten years,
'with 5% leaving dairy farming in the last year alone,
'but the cream always rises to the top
'and, for farms like this, the future seems bright.'
Do you know, it seems like there's a real energy with the workforce
here because there is a lot of young talent on the farm.
Yes, absolutely, but they've done that all themselves
and taken courses, apprenticeships, college.
But they're very competitive lads.
You know, they want to do everything better
and they want to win competitions.
It's such a dynamic, exciting industry to be in.
With so much technology as well,
which is really firing up a lot of energy, isn't it?
I'm getting left behind.
I'm happy driving my loader and milking the cows. It's changing now.
Jason's job is now going to be looking after the technology
and the staff that look after the cows.
You know, things are moving on.
There's one organisation that supports young farmers more than
any other, and that's the National Federation For Young Farmers,
and here in Wales it plays a huge part in supporting
not only their work, but their social life too.
Wales's Young Farmers' Clubs provide opportunities
for more than 5,000 members, through 155 clubs.
But you don't actually have to be a young farmer
to be in the Young Farmers.
It's open to anyone who has a passion for the countryside.
Cennydd is treasurer of his Young Farmers' Club in Pontsian.
So, when did the Young Farmers' Club in Wales come about?
Well, the Young Farmers' Club in Wales started 80 years ago
this year now, so it's just coming up to its celebration there
and the oldest clubs in Wales is Clunderwen, I think,
down in Pembrokeshire and the club where I'm a member of
in Pontsian, that'll be 75 years old next year, so it gives so much
help to them and so much support to many young people in rural areas.
Is that what makes it so exciting for them? And so rewarding?
That it brings rural people together?
Oh, yes, definitely and I think that will become more important again
in the forthcoming years.
I mean, if you look at the club where I'm in now, Pontsian,
the only thing that we'll be using the village hall from
next year on is the Young Farmers' club, the school has closed down,
the Post Office has closed down, it's only the Young Farmers' club
that you've got left in lots of rural communities in Wales.
-And it's more than just farming, isn't it?
-Oh, yes, definitely.
We've been doing stock judging, we've been doing stand-up comedy,
we've been doing darts - you name it, we do it.
Public speaking, that's another key aspect
of the Young Farmers' club as well.
That can only help all of those people in later life,
-with confidence, can't it?
-I wouldn't be able to stand here
talking to you now without the help of the Young Farmers' club.
Good for them, and good for you. I hear you're bit of an actor.
Yes, I've done a bit of acting
and hopefully now I'll be picked up by EastEnders or somebody!
-Or Countryfile, maybe.
'I think I need to watch my back.'
Young farmers compete over anything and everything.
But today our group are stock judging.
Stock judging is something that we do on a monthly basis, almost,
in the Young Farmers' clubs, particularly in West Wales,
so we get a group of four animals usually, be it beef, sheep, dairy
or even pigs, and we place them in order of preference then,
from the first to the fourth and then we'll have about two minutes
to give reasons then on why we've come to that conclusion,
and it's a valuable skill because you can utilise the skill then
when you go into markets and so on to purchase animals,
or as we are doing here today,
body condition scoring these dairy cattle.
So what's the body condition scoring? What are they looking for?
Well, it's a scale really, from one to five
and body condition scoring is there to measure
the amount of fat that the animal has in its reserves
and these cows here now, they're in calf
so they should be around a body condition score of 2.5.
-So they should be about middle weight.
-Are you quite good at this?
-Oh, no, there's a lot of luck.
I try my best, but...
-So how are you getting on?
Four cows here now, they're different body score conditioning.
I've just given them each a different score now.
So would you put the worst one being the over fat one,
or the very skinny one?
I think my worst would be the skinny one
because she's actually lost all condition and it's a problem
getting milk efficiently produced from a cow that is too skinny.
This is the sort of thing you'd have to do,
you'd have to explain your decisions to the judge, wouldn't you,
in a Young Farmers' competition?
You'd have to give reasons and YOUR reasons.
It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong,
you have to be close to what the judge thinks,
but I think the most important thing is you have to try to persuade him,
-"This is what
-think and this is what it should be."
Well done, you. Let's go and see what the others are doing.
-So how are you getting on?
-So have you sussed out the skinniest and the fattest?
Which one would you put last, the very skinny one or the very fat one?
It would be a close one on them, I think,
because the fat one obviously is in too good a condition and then
you've got the skinny one who's possibly got more of a health issue
so you'd probably put the skinny one last and the fat one third.
OK, and then the other two,
-which one of those have you put at the top?
-We scored her 2.75 and then the one without a number 2.25,
-so I don't know, quite close.
So fractions of a score you've been going in there. Wow.
-And did you gents agree with that?
-We did on that case.
Look at that. Goodness me. Well, you're all really close, aren't you?
You certainly know what you're doing and you're the winners.
Right, where's that fiver you said you'd give me?
Well done. Very impressive.
Last year, Helen Skelton met farming world champion darts player
He still has close ties with his local Young Farmers' Club in Dorset,
as without it, he wouldn't be where he is today.
-Hello, Mr World Champion!
-How are you?
-I'm very well, how are you?
-Very well, thank you.
'For many people who grow up in the countryside,
'Young Farmers' Clubs are at the heart of their social lives,
'and it was at his local branch
'that Scott first started playing darts competitively.'
He says that's where he learned about teamwork and competition,
skills that have helped him make it to the top.
And he also met his wife there.
'Scott's taking me back to his old club to help with an unusual
'competition that he actually won quite a few times as a teenager.'
Right, Scotty, what's the plan?
Well, we've got a group of young farmers here today,
and I'm going to test their knowledge on farm machinery.
'The eight pieces of strange-looking kit here
'are all found on arable farms -
'but will the young farmers know what they all do?
'The team with the most correct answers wins.
You've got ten minutes. Get it done.
-You know what this is, don't you?
-Yeah, it's that, isn't it?
I'm sorry, I'm not reacting, not helping!
Walk all the way around, keep on coming.
I think there might be some clues around here, that's all I'm saying.
Harry, you're chairman of this Young Farmers' group.
Does that mean you know what everything is?
I know what some bits are, yeah.
A couple of bits there, like the sprayer, but most of it's just
guesswork and getting involved and having a go at it.
There's a good turnout from your young farmers today.
Is that typical? Is your group quite well attended?
Well, recently, yeah. It's growing all across Hampshire.
People are starting to learn that it's not all about farming and just
want to get involved, and obviously the social side of it as well.
Time's up. So who'll lift the coveted Challenge Cup?
The winner...s are...
Sam and Taylor.
Congratulations, let me shake you by the hand, young man.
-Thank you very much.
Congratulations, well done, team.
-'Scott Mills, 1.'
-'Becca in Exeter's been on saying,
' "My best part of coming to uni today
' "is being able to listen to Scott and Chris on Radio 1
' "in the middle of the day, talking about alpacas.
' "I didn't know what I was missing."
'Mate, try and give one of them a walk.'
Within the shadow of one of Britain's most secret organisations,
who'd have thought you'd find a little piece of the countryside?
Vauxhall City Farm is full of sights,
sounds and smells of rural life.
So possibly the last place you'd expect to find these two chaps.
But Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills and his co-host, Chris Stark,
are the current ambassadors of
the National Federation Of Young Farmers' Clubs.
Scott and his sidekick, Chris,
have been in their role for several months
and, with a little help from farm manager Jo Manby, they,
or Scott anyway, seem to be getting to grips with the day's work.
Oh, hi, guys.
HE IMITATES SHEEP
I grew up in a place called Eastleigh in Hampshire.
I mean, there are fields there,
but none of my family are from a farming background at all,
so for me, coming here today is... Especially in London,
this is kind of like an oasis of calm. It's nice.
-Right, let's go and sort some breakfast out.
-This is so cool.
Everywhere you go you see little faces popping up, going,
"Feed me! Feed me!"
OK. This is a situation now.
I'm in a corner.
Cornered by the goats.
-Let me just put it in the trough.
-That's it. You've got to get now.
I know! But let me put it in here.
-There we are. That's it.
-There we go.
Chris from my show is supposed to be here,
but he's missed feeding time, which is convenient, isn't it?
Our association with the Young Farmers started when we just got
asked to DJ a lot of the Young Farmers' gigs, the AGM we did,
which is like 5,000 or 6,000 young farmers in one place
and I just thought, "This is a nice community of people, you know?"
And a lot of people don't know about it,
and I certainly didn't know about it.
What I like about doing a Young Farmers gig is they want to
show you around the area. You don't just turn up and do the gig,
it's like, "Let's put you on our tractor,
"let's show you our chickens," and it's a really nice community spirit
because it's something that I don't get to do when I live in London.
Chris has only just turned up.
He'd be no good as a farmer.
-All right, mate?
-What time do you call this?
-Sorry, a little bit late.
You need to get doing stuff.
He's been here like five minutes!
He's a rubbish farmer compared to me.
-Do you know what it is?
-Sack the new farmer!
-I work too hard, that's the problem.
There are 630 Young Farmers' Clubs across England and Wales.
About 25,000 members, and that's rising all the time,
and they're just there to help Young Farmers and to create a community.
I'm not from a farming background at all, but you can get involved
and be part of it and it's a nice place to be.
My brush is weak.
We have a website which is kind of set up as a community
for young farmers, which is really fun.
It's called You Only Farm Once, or YOFO, and its...
Which is, it's just people, you know,
like, interacting together from farms all up and down the land,
taking selfies, entering competitions, and just having fun.
It's a real place to be for young farmers.
-All right, mate?
I love this. This is my favourite bit.
Chris meets animals.
Do you find they're useful in helping to pull?
What I'm saying is, if you walk out and about with a goat,
-will it make you more attractive?
-Let's try now.
-"All right, ladies?"
-Yes, this is very strange.
-Are we going over here?
I'm just walking a goat.
We've set up this website because we're lucky enough on the show
to have a big platform of people that will listen.
We just thought it was a great way of like getting young farmers
to meet and congregate and talk about the things that matter
and also to have a lot of fun.
Hang on. No, don't go. Wait.
-I just need to brush you.
OK. That's the magic. That's the goat.
-That's the goat.
-That's the goat.
'One of the issues that struck a chord with me was mental health.'
It affects young farmers in quite a big way
because it's a fairly solitary existence,
you're on your own for a long time
and what we want to try and do is break down the barriers
and get young farmers to talk more about it,
because it's an important issue.
-Yours is more trimmed, isn't it?
-Yes, mine's more pruned.
The boys are determined to get a felfie,
a picture of themselves with a farm animal.
-It doesn't love the camera as much as you, does it?
-There we are.
That's a good one.
And we'd love to see your felfies,
or farm animal selfies.
Please tweet us or send them in to our website.
-Where are we going?
-This is happening. The park.
There's so much going on nowadays in the young farming community,
and it's thanks to the Young Farmers' Club
that so many youngsters are getting engaged with agriculture
and the countryside, which can only be a good thing
for the culture of farming for decades to come.
I certainly had a great time when I was a young farmer.
When I started farming, it was definitely a job for the boys,
but thankfully farming has moved with the times,
and there are now plenty of girls getting their hands dirty,
as Matt discovered a few summers ago.
Here at Bishop Burton Agricultural College near Beverley,
there's an irrepressible force at work
amongst our next generation of farmers,
and it's all to do with girl power.
Bishop Burton has witnessed a surge in female applicants
for their farming courses.
One in five of their agricultural students are now women,
compared to less than one in ten five years ago.
'17-year-old identical twins Vicky and Lizzie Appleyard
'are studying for their level three agriculture course, and today
'they're preparing for the college's 52nd annual stockmanship show.'
-Now then, girls, how are you doing? All right?
-Lovely to see you. Who's this?
-This is Delilah.
-Why did you choose Delilah?
-Because I like the song, you know, the song.
-Hey there, Delilah, that one.
-Yes, fair enough. And Lizzie?
This is Miranda.
Good, right, well, let me give you a hand with a bit of sponging.
-We'll do the armpits down here.
-Yes, just get all the yellow patches off.
And so, as identical twins then,
-you've chosen an identical profession to go into.
Do you come from a farming family?
None of our family have anything to do with farming.
So, in that respect, it's quite hard for us to get anywhere,
as well as being girls.
So, we came into it for our auntie,
-she'd got some cade lambs to look after.
And we spent, you know, a couple of weeks looking after that
and we were just hooked.
So would the ultimate goal then be for you two to have a farm together?
-Yeah, it would be pretty cool, wouldn't it?
-Yeah, it would.
-We work brilliantly as a team together.
-It wouldn't be a problem, we never fall out, really.
-What would you have on your farm?
Sheep! Just sheep?
-And a pink tractor, maybe.
And so all of your friends, at your age then, I mean,
I guess on the girl side of it,
-not many of them would wander round farms.
I think my friends would be sat there,
reading their Glamour magazine
and I would have my Farmers Weekly, so we're a bit different, I'd say!
Pretty much done with her now?
'Time for a run-through for tomorrow's parade
'with teacher Helen Martin.'
Oh, we've got a sitter.
We have, we've got a protest on our hands.
Well, what can you do when you've got a big animal like that
-lying on the ground?
I'm afraid 500 kilos of cow has the final say in this case.
But the girls, they're doing incredibly well, aren't they?
They're doing so, so well. They seem to have that touch,
and Lizzie and Vicky had them on a halter within two days.
Some of the lads couldn't match that at all.
Women in farming is nothing new,
but we've seen an increase in the amount that want to come in
and take top management jobs and actually build a career out of this.
Well, listen, they're lining up, so I'll let you get back to the class.
-You can continue with the rehearsals for tomorrow.
-Good luck with it!
One example of Bishop Burton's new breed
of business-minded young women
is 17-year-old Jess Graves.
She runs her own bacon business from home, Jess's Porky Pigs.
And you're quite unique here because there's not many students
-that are obsessed with pigs like you are.
-I know, yeah.
-Really obsessed. I'm really obsessed.
-When did that start?
When I was eight, my dad bought me two little pigs
and I loved them to bits
and I sold them and then I saw the money and I was like,
"Oh, my God, yes."
So I was like... I bought some more pigs, like,
-went to five and 15...
-What, even at the age of 10?
Yeah, and I've never stopped.
Do you just come here to learn about pigs then,
or are you doing the wider business as well?
Like, pig nutrition, we do business management as well,
so it's learning more about business.
'There are 23,000 female farmers nationwide,
'but Jess finds there are still some barriers for women to get over.'
I'm filling the troughs up here and my wellies are being nibbled.
-I thought you would want the feed.
-Yeah, they're hungry.
What is it about my wellies that are so exciting and so lovely?
-Are you taken quite seriously, then, as a young lady in...?
They don't believe that a woman could do a guy's job.
You've got to, like, believe in yourself, to be honest,
and think that you can do it and just do it.
It's the eagerly-awaited Bishop Burton stockmanship show.
Nearly time for Jess and the twins to display their wares,
and Lizzie's up first.
I'm really nervous. Really, really nervous.
I hope she behaves. She's not behaving so far, so...
But Lizzie's heifer, Miranda, isn't playing ball.
As the rest of her class head into the judging area,
Miranda decides she's not having any of it.
I think she just got a little bit freaked out with everyone
and just decided she wasn't going to do it.
Meanwhile, her twin sister, Vicky, is having problems of her own.
After some conferring,
the judges decide to give Lizzie a second chance.
She gets to show in the same class as her sister and, this time,
manages to persuade Miranda into the arena.
The judges are looking for a well-kept animal
and good knowledge from their handler.
And Vicky and Delilah seem to be making a good impression.
-'In third place, Vicky Appleyard.'
-What, I'm third place?
-'Well done, Vicky.'
I feel quite happy, actually. At least I came somewhere!
Better luck with Miranda next time, Lizzie.
I'm at Aberystwyth University,
discovering what life is like for young farmers entering the industry.
Owning and running a farm
is a dream for many of them,
but getting onto the farming ladder
can be difficult.
Caryl Hughes won a year's scholarship
to run a beautiful Welsh hill farm.
I visited her twice during her placement
to see how she was getting on.
So you're from a farming background?
Yep. Yeah, north-east Wales. Llangollen-ish sort of thing.
So, pretty used to this kind of terrain up there.
This is going to be hard work, isn't it?
Definitely going to be hard work.
It hasn't been farmed for a while, so there's no tracks,
there's a lot of walking involved.
The National Trust and Welsh Young Farmers' Club
run this life-changing scholarship.
When I visited Caryl on the Snowdonia farm
for the second time, she'd moved things on apace.
When I met you first, the farm was empty,
there was no livestock at all. And are these the ewes
that I saw you buying from Arwyn back in September?
Yeah, these will be... Yeah, the first 40 we bought,
-so these are...
-Ooh, there we go.
-..all the lambs now. Matches!
-How did lambing go?
We'd no major issues and they all came quite good
so, no, it's been a really good...
The weather was kind to us this spring, wasn't it?
Definitely, anything's better than last year, isn't it?
No, it's been really good.
What's the plan now? What are you doing with them?
We're going to take these up now to the mountain and then, yeah,
they'll be up there then until shearing time.
Hopefully they'll go and the ewes then will teach their lambs
to come hefted, they'll find their habitat on the mountain
and they'll stay there then and they'll teach their lambs
where the water is and everything and then it'll pass on then
from generation to generation and they'll become then
a flock for this mountain.
-Is this the final gateway up onto the mountain?
-Yes, this is it.
This is the gate now between here and the mountain.
We'll let them take their time up and they should wander up slowly
and pick their lambs up and off they go.
That was quite a hike, but a good achievement.
Yeah, that's it now.
The first ewes and lambs up there for 25 years.
It's definitely a good step forward on the farm.
It's a lovely site. Well done, you.
On my last visit to Llyndy Isaf,
Caryl was taking delivery of her very first animals from Arwyn Owen,
a local farm manager
who has also been keeping a watchful eye on young Caryl.
How's Caryl been getting on?
She's got on great, really.
From day-to-day, I tend to think she's been here for years, almost.
She's sort of adjusted so well to the farm, to the place.
It's easy to think that she's been farming here for an awful long time
whereas in reality, it's only been a matter of seven, eight months.
How well do you think the project works,
the idea of giving young people that sort of foot on the ladder?
Certainly this year has been a great success.
From our perspective, it's worked incredibly well.
But the real measure of success, I think,
will be Caryl's progress from here on in.
Finding a hill farm to run yourself for 12 months
is always going to be difficult,
so hopefully that experience now will stand her in good stead
and I think at the end of the day,
if you can run a farm like this, then I think you can run any farm.
Rugged and tough hill farmers around here are hard to impress,
but it seems as though Caryl has made her mark.
So you've introduced cattle to the farm now?
Yeah, so I've got these two here which have just calved in March,
they've got young calves on them.
And there's six more up there on the mountain,
just making a path for the sheep, really,
and trying to clear some of the heather and stuff.
And you've chosen the Welsh Black.
Yes, Welsh Black. Well, I went to see Arwyn again for them.
They're a hardy breed, so they're used to living up those mountains.
So, yeah, the plan is to keep them up there as long as I can, really.
What sort of other things have you done on the farm?
One of the first things to do was that mountain fence.
There were 4,500km there of fence line to do,
so we carried just over 1,000 posts up there by helicopter,
so that was an experience I'll never do again, probably.
So we carried them up and then we got the fencing contractor up there
and he's just finished now.
That's a huge job, did you organise all of that?
Yeah, I organised the contractor and the helicopter, yeah.
It's one of those things you probably never do again
on that sort of scale, so it was great.
And you're really getting the farm going for the future.
Yeah, like I said, these calves now,
they'll be the future, future of the herd as well
and the calves that come out of the heifers.
Yeah, it's all for the future, really.
-Trying to build the stock up so it can carry on.
Caryl has a short while left on this beautiful farm
and, in September, is due to hand it over to the next lucky winner
of this fantastic scholarship.
You've obviously made quite a big impression on the farm,
doing everything you've done so far. Is it going to be hard to leave?
Yeah, I must admit it is going to be quite hard, I think, yeah.
I've made a lot of good friends and met a lot of people out here
and obviously living in quite a gorgeous area as well,
it's going to be hard, yeah.
Now her placement has finished, I'm catching up with Caryl again.
And she's come here, to her old haunt,
Aberystwyth University, where she studied.
Since Caryl, there have been two further placements
on the National Trust farm
and they've also been awarded to students from Aberystwyth.
What the youngsters are learning here today
should enable them to follow in Caryl's footsteps.
-Hello. Are you OK?
-Good to see you.
-You're like an old friend of Countryfile.
-A little bit, yeah.
-It's been a few times now, hasn't it?
What's it like being back at the college -
-bring back some fond memories?
-Yes, it's really good.
-It's really nice to be back here.
-How long were you here for?
I was here for three years, yeah.
I graduated now about two years or three years ago.
And so you got that scholarship to run the hill farm for a year,
-what was that like?
-Oh, great experience.
It was really good and just giving me that, you know,
a little step up that I probably needed after farming at home.
You tend to do the same things your father's done so, yeah,
having my own place to run and manage for a year really gave me
a chance to just, you know, get my experience in, really.
-Where are you working full-time now?
-I'm back at home now.
Back at home now so I'm farming at home with my father,
but after the scholarship, I've got a bit more confidence now
and I kind of question a few more things that we do.
Is technology key then, do you think, for the future of farmers?
I think it's going to be. Not because we want it to be
but I think it's a modern business.
We're going to have to be a modern kind of business industry,
so we're going to have to be more technology-based.
Every business has to move on and farming is, in my opinion,
lagging a bit behind at the moment, so we need to catch up.
You say business there,
it is about understanding the numbers, isn't it?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's a family tradition
for us but at the end of the day, it has to sustain us as a family.
-You've got to make money.
-Good for you.
It's great to have really progressive people in farming
and lovely to see some of the other students here so enthusiastic.
Can I give you a hand, what are you up to?
I'm just making sure he sucks really, they're due to go out.
We're just making sure that their bellies are full.
Yeah, lovely, well done.
'The great thing about Caryl coming back to the university
'is that she can pass on skills that she's learnt on the farm
'to today's students.'
It's just marking the ewes with a number and the lambs
are the same numbers as well, so when they're out on the field,
we just know which lamb belongs to which one and we can keep
an eye on them as well if there are any problems.
Recognise them as a family.
What about these guys, what's their future?
Particularly if they can't go back to a family farm.
Agricultural industry, it's so broad
and having a degree in agriculture, they can do anything they want.
They can be consultants, lawyers in agriculture,
they can be anything, really.
The degree in agriculture is so wide and broad.
-Quite well-paid jobs out there.
It's just not the farming side of it with the sheep every day,
-there's definitely a different type of thing to be done.
'And it's not just Caryl sharing her knowledge.
'Cennydd is up-to-date with the latest technology too.'
So this is the sheep scanner?
Yeah, it's one of the many modern technologies that's available
to the modern shepherd now to aid registering the sheep
and getting the information about whether they've had singles,
triplets and whether there was any problems.
It really does help the modern shepherd.
So you just scan that over her ear?
Yeah, they've got the ID tags there and this scans the ID tag
and as you can see there on the screen then,
you just press "accept" then.
You can download that onto your desktop?
Yeah, and it's so easy then
for making management decisions later on and keeping records.
Bit different to your dad's wet notebook out in the field?
-Yeah, a little bit, yeah.
-Are you all techno wizards?
They're all over their phones all the time.
This is what it's all about, the future.
It's technology all the way now for the farming world.
And forward-thinking courses like this can only help.
I've just left the guys to get on with the job in hand
and I have to say, it's been brilliant seeing how passionate
these young farmers are about agriculture.
After all, they're the farmers of the future
and will hopefully keep the great tradition
of British farming alive.
Next week, Matt and Ellie are in Sussex.
But until then, it's goodbye from us.
Come on, let's get you back to your mum.
Countryfile is in Aberystwyth, where Adam Henson visits the town's university to meet the youngsters working towards a career in farming. He looks back through the Countryfile archive to see what life is like being a young farmer today - from the time Matt Baker met the twin sisters breaking into farming to when Helen Skelton met Scott Mitchell, the young farmer who went on to become the world darts champion.
The programme also catches up with the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs ambassadors, Radio 1 DJs Scott Mills and Chris Stark, as they get busy mucking out the animals at Vauxhall City Farm.