Friday 23 February, 2024

In your field: Amy Wilkinson - 'Working on a family farm is such a different experience than any other'

This year I was very excited to be invited to my first colleague’s wedding like a proper grown up

clock • 2 min read
In your field: Amy Wilkinson - 'Working on a family farm is such a different experience than any other'

When I told my parents this, they said that is impossible as they are already married.

James Huyton, Farmers Guaridan's machinery specialist, was kind enough to invite me to his lovely nuptials as we have worked together under his boss, Toby Whatley, at events such as LAMMA.

This got me thinking that working on a family farm is such a different work experience than any other I can think of.

Especially if, like me, it is just you and your parents employed there.

Thankless

Truth be told, in these situations it can feel quite thankless.

There is no such thing as bonuses, but that is not what makes the difference to me personally.

It is the lack of a social side to work, especially since I now live alone and even though I have never experienced it, which is what I miss.

My sister and friends work in offices where they go for drinks after work, there are work Christmas parties, office gossip and even bake off competitions.

I didn't used to notice this as much, as after work I always had my siblings to talk to, but now I go back to my little house alone and it is a silence I have never been used to.

I can now go days without speaking to a soul other than my parents and cows.

I am in that weird group of young people in the countryside who are too old for young farmers but not yet settled and married like a lot of my friends.

This, at times, lonely little existence has had me comparing myself to the incredible Land Girls during the world wars as I have recently been reading about these women in FG's own Emily Ashworth's book The Land Army's Lost Women (Five stars, really recommend).

Often these girls were sent to farms a long way from home to work sometimes alone.

What I took from reading through their memories was that a lot of these girls joined to gain their independence, but with this new-found freedom came a loneliness — a bit like me gaining my independence and living alone.

Where our experience differs is I am unfortunately not surrounded by fit military men or prisoners of war (I know, scandalous.)

This is not to say I am willing to rush into such a commitment, as I am very proud of the independence I have gained by myself and do have some fabulous friends.

However, if you are also part of this group of late 20s/early 30s age, who went into a world pandemic as a massive young farmer-goer and came out the other side too old, in an isolating job, and without the chance to meet a special someone.

You are not alone if you feel lonely sometimes. 

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