Auc­tion­eer Ben also loves the farm­ing life

The Galloway News - - FARMING REVIEW - Stu­art McFar­lane

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.”

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