Pigs (outdoor), sheep, and goats
PIGS, HAMPSHIRE: Flavian has recently taken over the tenancy of a council-owned farm in Hampshire. With his fiancé, Nikki, he is farming pigs, sheep and ex-dairy goats on 61 acres (25 hectares) of mixed pasture and woodland, and supplying their meat to local customers. He also runs a spit-roast business, providing roast meats for weddings, festivals and other events. Eventually he also hopes to keep pasture-fed chickens (mainly for eggs), and to make charcuterie.
Flavian keeps his pigs outdoors and says he chose Tamworths because they are good at rootling, which helps aerate the farm's compacted soils. "I use them instead of a tractor," he says.
Previously Flavian worked on a mixed farm in Hampshire with pigs, sheep, beef, arable and a farm shop, managing 110-sow (female pigs) from farrow to finish. Before that, he managed a 130-sow (female pigs) indoor pig unit, consisting of predominantly Large White x Landrace and a few Large White x Welsh breeds in Plumpton, East Sussex.
Flavian has always loved animals but came into farming almost by accident. Having moved to the UK at 15 from Kenya, he planned to go to university to study veterinary medicine, but after not achieving the grades required, he took a year out after his A-Levels to work before heading off to study a degree in Animal Management at Sparsholt College. After completing a week’s placement on a farm, he was offered a job and ended up working there for his gap year. He hasn’t looked back since.
He gains enormous job satisfaction from looking after animals. For him, seeing an animal born and following it through to sale is a feeling that never gets old. This, alongside working outdoors, the lifestyle and access to locally produced, traceable, fresh meat, are his favourite things about farming. One day he dreams of owning his own farm.
Flavian is keen to attract young people into agriculture and to reduce the average age of farmers. When he worked at Plumpton College, he saw first-hand how difficult it is to keep young people interested in agriculture, and feels general life skills and “farm to fork” should be taught to young people from primary school age. He believes this would help them appreciate the source of their food and provide them with life skills that would help them when they start working.
Trustee at Jamie's Farm, NFU South East Next Generation representative, NFU North East Hampshire Deputy Chair, co-founder of Pig Exchange Network
Featured in Farmers Weekly, Pig World, Farmers Guardian, Mid Sussex Times, South East Farmer, Sussex Life, Farmers Guide, NFU Student Farmer. Has been on Countryfile, BBC Radio 4's Farming Today, BBC Radio Berkshire, BBC Sussex & Surrey, Farmers Weekly podcast, Flat White Chats podcast, Black Lives Living podcast, Rock & Roll Farming podcast, Pub Yields podcast and was on the Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer TV show. He has also taken over Instagram accounts for the Yellow Wellies Foundation and Agri App to show a day on a pig farm.