National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Thomas, 13, Berwick YFC, Northumberland

Shortlisted for Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2020

An avid interest in clipping led Thomas to be a great support during lockdown when local smallholders struggled to find contract clippers. A determination to succeed and an eagerness to learn has ensured Thomas has progressed his clipping skills and invested in the cor-rect equipment.

After learning how to clip from another contract clipper who was helping on his family farm, he earned his first wage after clipping 50 sheep. He invested his money in clipping trousers, moccasins and a new vest, and watched YouTube videos and welded his clipping frame to enable him to start a mobile business.

Thanks to a local vet spreading the word, within a few days Thomas had bookings from local smallholders who were delighted to support a young entrepreneur.

A highlight for Thomas was when he pushed to be on a clipping team at Hownam Grange in the Scottish borders, working on multi-award winning North Country Cheviots. Thomas was complimented for his ability, care and willingness to take advice. Rather than being paid, he negotiated to buy a second-hand handpiece and earned a job where he clipped 100 Herdwicks in a day! 

As a new member to YFC he has received the support of his club with his new skills and grown in confidence as a result of their recognition. Thomas’ 100 sheep day video was liked by 234 followers on Facebook along with 46 comments of support. It was also shared by Shear Pro NZ, Shearing World and many others who complimented him on his achievement.

Thomas’ own initiative, determination and skills have enabled him to reach his goals. He has overcome obstacles and negotiated his own path. Age, size, strength, lack of equipment, skill and even a global pandemic have not defeated him. 

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