Easton & Otley: Suffolk Apprentice of the year 2018 winner

Competition was stiff for this year’s Suffolk Agricultural Apprentice of the Year Competition but after a robust interview process two clear winners emerged, selected because they had both gone the extra mile to use the new skills they are learning to enhance their employers businesses.

Daniel Goodwin is the 2018 winner.

Dan works for Mike and Lorraine Morley at Bishops Farm, Bradfield St Clare. He began by doing work experience straight after leaving school in 2014 and has progressed up through the Level 2 full time Agricultural Diploma, to the Level 2 Apprenticeship and now the Level 3 Apprenticeship all at Easton&Otley.

The judges felt he stood out above the rest of the entrants as the obvious winner, coming across as being very focused, determined and passionate about his farming career, making him an excellent example of the kind of new blood our industry needs. The judges were impressed with the way Dan has put in additional work studying crop trials and variety performance and how it this is interlinked with soil analysis.

His employers said, ‘Dan has a good understanding of mechanics and new technology. He is always willing to learn how and why machines work. He has a good grasp of workshop procedures including being a very competent welder. His practical abilities and application are brilliant, he is an all-round reliable employee, always happy in his work and willing to tackle any job on the farm, showing great pride in all he does.’

Megan Keeble who is working at D E Keeble Ltd, Blaxhall Woodbridge, whilst studying for her Level 3 Agricultural Apprenticeship at Easton&Otley is the runner up.

The Judges were impressed by her grasp of business finance, her practical skills and her passion for machinery both its fabrication and design. She is constantly looking for ways to improve operational efficiency. It was clear that she has put a lot of thought into analysing how the business she works for, runs and spotting ideas for the future.

Stephen Cobbald, who judged the entrants on behalf of the Suffolk Agricultural Association said, ‘Each entrant submits a short video of themselves made on their mobile phones to illustrate what they do at work. It was encouraging to interview a group of such bright and capable young people who have chosen to work in agriculture; with students like this, our future is in safe hands.’

Tim Styles, from Fram Farmers Ltd who sponsor the competition said, ‘There is a shortage of people choosing agriculture as a career, despite the excellent wages on offer. Sadly, too many schools do not understand agriculture, under estimating the technical competences needed. Fram Farmers are pleased to sponsor this award as it helps to promote the sort of high calibre talent our members need.’

This year the Chadacre Trust have funded the creation of a video showing the two winners at work which will be used in schools , at careers events and on social media to promote the variety of careers in farming.

 

Editor’s notes

The winner receives a cheque for £100 along with the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s trophy and a free short training course such as chain saw operator. The runner up receives a cheque for £50 along with a  trophy.

The prizes will be presented on the first day of the show May 30thin the grand ring by the show president Baroness Byford as part of the grand parade at  4pm.

They will also be represented at the Suffolk Agricultural Society BALE Awards Dinner in October.

Nicola Currie

Apprenticeship Ambassador

Posted:
13/06/2018
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YANA Press Release

The Farming and Rural Communities supporting their own

Dr Alys Cole-King, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist,Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board/Clinical Director Connecting with People.

Jo Hoey – The YANA Project

Every day at Fram Farmers we see the benefits of the tight knit farming communities across the UK, but one of the harsh facts of farming, horticulture and rural trades is that the group is high risk of depression and suicide.  

For those in farming this is easily understood with some of the main issues being increasingly erratic weather patterns, animal diseases such as the recent bird flu, stresses with marketing produce, workplace isolation, lack of respite, increasing regulation, poor financial returns (a recent study shows the farmers’ average income is under £20k) and no doubt uncertainty with Brexit is yet another factor as well as an historical reluctance to discuss mental health.  

Between 2006 and 2015 Public Health Norfolk recorded 35 deaths by suicide from this cohort – nearly twice the rate for the general population. Currently, the rates for farmers taking their own lives is 1.7 times higher than that of most other industries. With concerns, focusing on access to firearms and chemicals, there is an urgent need to ‘look out for one another’.     It was one such farming tragedy that prompted a Norfolk Charity to launch The YANA (You Are Not Alone) Project in 2008.  Jo Hoey from YANA explained that the website and informative leaflets describe the symptoms of depression and action to take whilst YANA’s presence at every agricultural event in Norfolk and Suffolk throughout the year has successfully raised the profile of mental health, highlighting that it is ‘ok not to feel ok’ and encouraging those who are suffering from depression, stress or anxiety to visit their GP promptly or contact the YANA confidential helpline.  The Project can fund up to six sessions of counselling either via its helpline or a patient’s GP and can put that in place within days – a real lifeline when waiting lists for counselling with the NHS can be months.

The higher suicide rate is related to those in farming having ready access to the means, but people should not be afraid to intervene if they are concerned about a friend, colleagues or even a stranger.  Suicidal thoughts usually start because people feel overwhelmed by their problems or situation, usually there is not a single cause. This can happen to anyone, and does not necessarily mean they want to end their life. It is just that they cannot cope with their emotional painany more. Asking if someone is ‘OK’ may be the first step in saving their life.  Showing your concern, staying with the person and persuading them to seek support could save someone’s life.

The on-line resource ‘Staying Safe’ includes suggestions where someone in distress can find supportwww.connectingwithpeople.org/StayingSafe

Whilst The YANA Project works throughout Norfolk and Suffolk, it has good links to similar organisations across the UK.  At a time when the NHS is experiencing enormous pressures it is good to know that the farming and rural communities are reaching out and supporting their own.  If you are struggling, seeking help is not a sign of weakness - it may be the bravest thing you ever do, and might even save your life.

 

Common symptoms of stress and depression

·        Low Mood (sadness, frequently tearful or unable to cry)

·        Anxiety (worrying obsessively or disproportionately)

·        Changes in appetite

·        Disturbed sleep patterns

·        Lack of energy/feeling tired

·        Reliance on alcohol

·        Lack of interest in family and friends

·        Unable to enjoy hobbies as before

·        Loss of sex drive

·        Confused thinking a poor concentration

·        A change in personality (e.g. uncharacteristic aggress

·        Negative thoughts


www.yanahelp.org

e: johoey@yanahelp.org

0300 323 0400

Posted:
12/04/2018
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Fram Farmers have now attained MINDFUL EMPLOYER status

At Fram Farmers we recognise that Mental Health remains a difficult area for many people to discuss but it’s very important to us that we encourage our employees to be as open and comfortable as they can talking about these issues with their Manager. 

Fram Farmers have now attained MINDFUL EMPLOYER status by signing up to a charter for employers who are positive in their approach to mental health issues.  This initiative gives our Managers access to information, practical support, training and networks to help them develop a full awareness of Mental Health issues and be able to support their teams in whichever way they can or give them guidance in any next steps that may be required.

Fram Farmers have also signed up to MINDFUL EMPLOYER PLUS which gives our employees access to a 24/7 independent and completely confidential staff helpline offering support for whatever life throws at them.

The Charter for Employers who are Positive about Mental Health is a voluntary agreement seeking to support employers in working within the spirit of its positive approach. The Charter is one element of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative which is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace and supporting businesses in recruiting and retaining staff.

A wide range of employers from all over the UK are involved in the initiative which gives businesses and organisations easier access to information, practical support, training, networks and assistance from other employers.

MINDFUL EMPLOYER is a UK-wide initiative run by Workways, part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust. More information atwww.mindfulemployer.net Posted:
19/03/2018
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Fram Farmers have now attained MINDFUUL EMPLOYER status

Fram Farmers have now attained MINDFUL EMPLOYER status by signing up to a charter for employers who are positive in their approach to mental health issues.  This initiative gives our Managers access to information, practical support, training and networks to help them develop a full awareness of Mental Health issues and be able to support their teams in whichever way they can or give them guidance in any next steps that may be required. 

Fram Farmers have also signed up to MINDFUL EMPLOYER PLUS which gives our employees access to a 24/7 independent and completely confidential staff helpline offering support for whatever life throws at them.

The Charter for Employers who are Positive about Mental Health is a voluntary agreement seeking to support employers in working within the spirit of its positive approach. The Charter is one element of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative which is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace and supporting businesses in recruiting and retaining staff. 

A wide range of employers from all over the UK are involved in the initiative which gives businesses and organisations easier access to information, practical support, training, networks and assistance from other employers.

MINDFUL EMPLOYER is a UK-wide initiative run by Workways, part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust. More information at www.mindfulemployer.net

 

Posted:
19/03/2018
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