Jade Rogers – Walk In their Wellies Blog

Hi, my name is Jade Rodgers and I have recently moved with my husband from our smallholding in West Yorkshire to our farm in North Yorkshire. I have always been interested in farming and have …

Hi, my name is Jade Rodgers and I have recently moved with my husband from our smallholding in West Yorkshire to our farm in North Yorkshire.

I have always been interested in farming and have a lot of friends in the farming community. However, before covid time in 2020 I mainly just helped out doing odd farm jobs on weekends and played around with my vintage tractors while working full time in ophthalmology.

Then, in 2020, me and my husband were offered the chance to rent a 15 acre smallholding which we were so grateful for. We bought our first ever livestock – 18 store lambs to start us off to graze the land. We sold every lamb as a lamb box, and this is one of the main reasons I wanted to become a farmer – to produce high quality sustainable local produce. 

The money raised from this bought our first breeding ewes and it escalated from there.

Although we felt so lucky to be able to have a bit of land to do this we were eager for more. As a first-generation farmer I found one of main difficulties is finding opportunities. Both of us from non-farming backgrounds. We applied and applied for farms with not a lot of luck. We discussed buying land and living in a caravan and tried to get extra pieces of land to rent.

Then last year I felt like we had won the lottery when the opportunity of running our very own farm came to light. Which of course we jumped at! 

Since moving to the farm we have increased our breeding ewe numbers and now run a flock of pedigree poll Dorsets and a flock of mules. We loved the Dorsets hardy nature and ability to lamb at any time of year so we could fit lambing time around us as we both work full time. We added in the mules to give a bit more of a commercial lamb.

We bought in some bullock calves to rear and 2 breeding Hereford cows to start our beef suckler herd. We really love the Herefords calm attitude and the fact they can easily do well on grass alone.

It genuinely hasn’t been easy getting to this point. We have sacrificed a lot. Time spent together and with family and friends are often on farm. Picnics in the field at hay making or family coming over for lamb cuddles. Quality time together is often a road trip to collect some form of farm equipment or a day out at an agricultural show.

Financially we both have to continue to work full time as building a farm up from scratch is expensive!

We get up no later than 5am most days to check stock and make sure everyone is fed and watered before going to work and doing the same again when we get home. Weekends are taken up by the bigger jobs. Gathering the sheep, drenching, fencing, mucking out ect. and annual leave from our jobs is used for lambing, calving and hay making time. 

Our friends, family, neighbours and the farming community have helped us massively, we couldn’t have done this without the support of everyone and we are right there to return the favour of anyone who needs a hand back.

I absolutely love being a farmer, I love looking after the stock, I love working outside, keeping our little piece of the countryside looking nice and I love learning new techniques and skills and ways of improving year on year. We need to work on improving our soil and grass quality here which is not my strong point. My husband is much better at that side of things! Although I will definitely work at it. We plan to build our stock numbers up, improve our stock quality and get to a point where we can sell breeding stock too. 

For anyone wanting to get into farming I would say just do it! I have learnt that I am super motivated and dedicated to farming – you have to be! Some days are super tough, and I have had times where I thought, ‘what am I doing?’. However, the good days far outweigh the bad.

If you want it, stay focused, work really hard and you will get there. It will become who you are, take over your life and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

If you’re a farmer and you’d like to contribute in our campaign to raise awareness for the incredible work in British agriculture, please drop us a DM on Instagram – @_howdenrural