HomeFarmingFarm ManagerPhilip Le Maistre

Philip Le Maistre

There’s no such thing as a typical day on a farm as it can vary so much according to the time of the year. During the winter months more of my time is focused on the dairy herd. My day would usually start milking our Jersey cows, then cleaning the cattle sheds and putting out the winter rations for all the cattle. During the middle of the day we check our young stock and then it is milking again at 3.30pm. From early January the planting of the Jersey Royals becomes my main job, once planting has finished at the end of March we would begin harvesting potatoes, moving into the summer months another important job is cutting grass silage which is then fed to the cattle throughout the winter months.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Communication
Time management
Dedication

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I’ve wanted to be a farmer ever since I was young, it actually made it really easy for me whilst I was at school as when I had to start deciding on careers there was never a question about what I wanted to do. I went to Agricultural college for three years and then came back to work on the family farm.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
I love the fact that no day is ever the same, I also love watching the countryside change throughout the different seasons of the year. It’s a really satisfying feeling from when we plant the first jersey royals in the cotils to when it comes to removing the polythene and seeing that after all the hard work it won’t be long until harvest begins.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
The hours would probably be the main thing. Farming is a weather dependent job after continued wet weather sometimes long days are required to catch up with work that should have been completed, livestock also need looking after seven days a week, 365 days of the year so you need to be aware that by working on a farm it’s definitely not a Monday to Friday 9-5 job.

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
I studied for three years at agricultural college and this included a year of work experience. During that time I qualified as a sprayer operator, forklift driver and telehandler driver. I am currently doing a Basis course, this will provide me with a greater understanding of the pests and diseases that affect the crops we grow and how best to manage them.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
A recent survey said that people who work outside are generally happier than those that have an indoor work – And I would definitely agree with that! The jobs that a farm can o er are very diverse, from mechanics, office administration, record keeping, tractor driving, pack house management, herdsman there is a job for whatever you have a passion in.

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