Auctioneer Ben also loves the farming life
For 23-year-old Ben Radley, life has already become a juggling act as he attempts to make his way in the world as a young farmer and livestock breeder.
Ben recently took over his grandfather’s farm at Lomondfoot in Georgetown, responsible for 100 acres of land as well as breeding pedigree sheep - all while also holding down a job as an auctioneer at Dumfries Auction Mart.
But despite the time pressures of juggling two jobs and the demands of looking after livestock, Ben says that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
He told the Standard: “When I was young, I was mucking about with horses and got my first sheep at 10 and so I’ve always wanted to farm and making a success of it has been my ambition.
“I’m now at my grandpa’s old farm and it can be a lot of work at different times, but I’m just driven to keep going and eventually expand on the site.
“This is a dream for me and it doesn’t feel like work because I love caring for livestock and if you enjoy doing something then it doesn’t feel like work. It can be such a satisfying job at times, especially when you’re lambing and bringing new life into the world.”
Outside of the farm, former Dumfries High School pupil Ben has also been an active member of the young farmers community and he also had the honour of becoming the cornet at last year’s Guid Nychburris in Dumfries.
Ben is a member of Lower Nithsdale Young Farmers Club, taking part in a wide range of activities with that organisation. He won the national sheep dressing competition in 2015.
He takes great pride in showing his homebred stock and has won the interbreed championships at both Dumfries show and the Cumberland show with his sheep.
He had the top average prices in both the Charollais and crossbred rings at Kelso tup sales last year with homebred shearling rams.
Ben says that the social side of the farming community is an enjoyable aspect of the job.
He said: “This time of year is particularly special with rideout season taking place and you meet other farmers and friends through those which is an enjoyable part of it all.
“This isn’t a nine-to-five job but we just do things when we can and you have some friends that help each other out when we can because it’s all just a big community in the end.”
Despite his grandfather’s history in farming, Ben’s dad Scott has his own business as a financial adviser - experience that Ben believes could be valuable in helping to run things in the coming years.
Ben added: “I’ve got the advantage of not being directly born into the farming business and not having anyone to directly answer to, which means that I’m able to make decisions and not be scared to make mistakes.
“The plan is to build and expand the sheep flock that I currently have, as well as trying to grow things here in terms of land and livestock over the coming years.”