I was only 18 when I started the Explore Enterprise course, having completed a 2 year Livestock Production Apprenticeship on a dairy farm in Garstang. I was finding it difficult to get a follow-on job on a farm and felt this may be because I was a young girl.
I was determined to overcome this hurdle and wanted to find out more about starting my own business in order to
achieve my aim of working in farming. The Explore Enterprise course gave me the knowledge and confidence about the bookkeeping and business planning that I needed and also encouragement through being with others who had similar ambitions.
After exploring options with my business adviser and securing some grazing, I applied for a small loan and a training grant from the scheme to help buy 30 mule ewes. I bought 20 to start with, but have now built up to 36 over the last 2 years.
I have learned a lot and am much more confident now in managing my small flock of sheep. I have secured some more grazing and am planning to gradually increase the flock size if I can find more grazing.
I currently balance managing my flock and working fulltime in a local, non-farming business. This provides security for paying off the loan as I build up the capital and farming skills I need. My ambition is to look out for farm tenancies, contract-farming or livestock-services opportunities that arise in the future. At 20 years old and enjoying my dream of having my own commercial sheep flock, I have made a good start.
I will always be grateful the Prince’s Trust Scheme has given me the opportunity to make a start in a career I live for.