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There is NO Such Thing as a Typical Day

During my time of running Home Farm I have come to realise that no matter what you plan for your day, it will be turned upside down and completely thrown out the window within a matter of minutes. There is definitely not a ‘normal day in the office’ where farming is concerned, but there are jobs which are done 365 days a year no matter what else is going on. Farming can be very spur of the moment. If it is not the weather causing havoc, there is a cow calving, sheep broken into the wrong field or a tractor broken down.

Challenges since Farming at Home Farm

The most challenging things in farming are mainly what we can’t control. The Weather being a massive challenge to start with, normally when we want and need rain it doesn’t and likewise when we want the rain to stop it doesn’t know how or when to.

In addition, the isolation which comes with the job. I can go days and weeks without seeing anybody apart from my Mum, Brothers or Boyfriend. In the first few months after losing my Dad and throwing myself into the farm I found it extremely hard mentally and if it wasn’t for my friends dragging me back out to socialise, I think I would have kept myself shut away from the world. Shutting away seemed easier, but it was making the grief harder to deal with.

Finally, my experience – or lack of it. Although I had a big involvement on the farm since a young age there were things my Dad kept in his head that I wasn’t aware of. It’s fair to say I have made plenty of mistakes on my journey but, that is sometimes the best way to learn. I am sure I will continue to make mistakes like everyone, but it’s how you fix and learn from them that’s important.

Effects of Coronavirus 

My work during lockdown hasn’t been affected to the degree that others have. Obviously respecting the social distancing rules put in place, the animals and crops still need tending to. The country still has to eat so the demand and pressure on farmers is arguably greater than ever. The lockdown rules have caused some disruption with selling in the markets. A ‘Drop and Go System’ put in place to protect everyone, however it means I can’t market my lambs like I usually do but in the grand scheme of things it is not the end of the world.

Springtime on the Farm 2020

Appearing in the latest series of Springtime on the Farm was very surreal. I didn’t think a nineteen-year-old farmer would ever be of interest on a national aired TV series. The team I filmed with were incredibly patient, understanding and supportive. I had never done anything like it before.

I was very nervous about appearing in this year’s series. Farming can be portrayed as such a controversial topic through media and I wasn’t confident that I could deal with any negative repercussions. Many forms of publicity can be so far from the truth, and unfortunately, it’s no different for farming. I really want to help change that and show that farming is a wonderful and inclusive community, faming isn’t the enemy. We are on call for our animals 24/7 every single day of the year. We aren’t there to harm the animals, the environment or slow people down on the roads with our tractors. We are here to do a job. A job that we are all 100% committed to and we are passionate about, providing food for everyone around the United Kingdom.

Three Counties Award Nomination

Being nominated for a Three Counties Farmer Award came very much as a shock to me. I feel very humbled to be noticed let alone nominated for an award. I did not think my five minute TV feature would lead to national newspaper coverage. I just want to make sure my Dads legacy is never forgotten and that everyone knows what a truly inspirational and irreplaceable man he was.

Little Jo Peep

With social media usage being a huge part of connecting with people I decided to set up an Instagram page called "Little Jo Peep', I am passionate about changing the public views on farming and farmers themselves. My account allows me to reach out to a wider audience showing them what day-to-day life on the farm is like. I think a ‘farmer’ has generically been portrayed as a grumpy old man down the road for far too long, which is so far from the truth. The industry is more diverse than ever and I really want to try and help the public realise that and support all of our British farmers who work all hours of the day to provide low mileage, British and high quality food on every table across the United Kingdom. I use my Instagram page to keep my followers up to date with my everyday jobs, I show the good & bad and try to keep everything as honest as I can. Little Jo Peep has helped me greatly to network with like-minded people, I can learn new things to try out on the farm and it's helped take away some of the isolation I can feel when working alone. If social media is used correctly I believe it is a step in the right direction for the agricultural sector to gain the publics support it needs.

Advice for Future Farmers

My advice for anyone considering a career in farming is to never give up.  Determination is key in the farming lifestyle. As a farmer, you never stop learning as every season is different; don’t be knocked when you make mistakes, learn from them. The opportunities out there are endless, but you have to work for it. Don’t expect it to be handed to you on a plate, grab every chance available to you. You have to prove yourself.

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There is NO Such Thing as a Typical Day Jo Lawrence
Jo featured on the Channel 5, Springtime on the Farm, back in April.