Jamie McCoy  -  The next step for the small family farm

Alan and Anne Beckett Award

I’m 26 years old, from Norfolk originally, and after studying Agriculture in Aberystwyth University and spending time travelling in New Zealand, Australia and USA my ambition to farm was cemented!

I now farm in West Wales with my partner Deian Evans, running a herd of 80 dairy cows and 120 ewes. We own 85 acres, but are renting in a further 130 on short term lets. We are looking to grow the business.  My Nuffield study ‘The next step for the small family farm’ is focusing around identifying opportunities for growth for small farms , but also about looking at whether expansion is always the right option. So many farmers are driven simply by numbers – number of livestock or acres, and bigger does not always mean more profitable.

I also work off the farm as a Farming Connect Knowledge transfer facilitator in Pembrokeshire. This work is really rewarding, running farm open days, agricultural discussion groups, helping farmers adopt new practices, embrace technology, share ideas and I facilitate on farm projects. I learn something everyday – and there is always more to learn!

I’m sure I used to have hundreds of hobbies, however since moving to the farm 2 years ago all these seem to have fallen by the wayside due to time (and energy) constraints – but given any opportunity I love travel, meeting new people and getting out and about in the great outdoors. I always get involved in local community events, and am proud to say I have learnt to speak Welsh since moving to Wales. I guess this proves I’m up for a challenge! I’m currently walking the Pembrokeshire coast path - bit by bit, and am training for some running events this year.

I love farming life and am very excited and honoured to be embarking on a 2013 Nuffield scholarship, and am indebted to my sponsors Alan and Anne Beckett for providing me with such an amazing opportunity.

Follow my adventures on twitter @jamiegorwelfarm