Arable & diversification
ARABLE & DIVERSIFICATION, HAMPSHIRE: Andrew’s family have been on the farm since 1953, and he has been running it since 2003. Though the farm was previously a dairy, Andrew has converted many of the farm buildings to business units and his 150 acres (61ha) of arable is farmed in partnership (where another farmer manages the land, growing and harvesting crops with their own equipment). He is also in partnership with a market garden on the farm, and recently Andrew has built a microbrewery on the farm.
Andrew always wanted to be a farmer, and even worked on other farms during his holidays from university – both in the UK and abroad – before taking on the family farm when his father passed away in 2003. He would like, in the long-term, to be able to feed all the people who come to work in the business units (about 60 people) with his own farm produce.
The diversity of the job is what Andrews enjoys most; one minute having a shovel in his hand and the next having a meeting with a prospective new tenant. “It’s a fascinating industry to be involved with and there are so many other inspiring people in the business.”
However, it can be lonely, making big decisions even harder.
Farm diversification and adapting to a rapidly changing rural environment, running a business in a rural area close to an increasingly urban area and how to adapt the business to realise potential and opportunities.
Farm buildings have been converted to business units which range from an indoor cricket centre to a café, microbrewery plus a small events business.
Member of the Country Land and Business Association and the National Farmers Union. Andrew is also on the committee for the Basingstoke Agricultural Society.
Interviewed when he ran the London Marathon in 2005 by BBC West Midlands and has spoken to local newspapers on local and farm issues.