Meet Brandon, 17 year old, urban farmer.
From the age of 3 everything Brandon wanted to do was animal based. He begged his parents to take him to the zoo and farms. He had dogs and cats for pets. He thought about being a zoo keeper but it’s hard to get work experience at a zoo or a pet shop at 11 years old.
Stepney City Farm
When funding allows, Stepney City Farm gives people of all ages the chance to learn about farming. For a young animal enthusiast, being able to be hands-on with caring for the animals was a dream and Brandon decided to pursue farming as a career.
What do your parents think about your love of farming?
They used to tell me “animals don’t bring money in when you are older”. So they would encourage me to study maths so I could be an accountant. But I would say “I’d rather work outside in the mud than sit in-doors in a suit, whatever the money.” Being good at maths is really helpful in farming, you’re an entrepreneur always thinking of the best way to do things.
How did you turn your interest into a job?
From my experience on the City Farm I decided to go to college and study Animal Management. It was at college that I got my first paid job. My tutors encouraged me to apply. I wouldn’t have done it without them. I wouldn’t have been confident enough. I now work on two farms in London.
Will you always be on a city farm?
My dream is to have a big piece of land with a herd of sheep. I was always asking for a field for Xmas. Now I’m planning to get some land by the time I’m 24. I’m learning how to do it. I know some things like I need to register with DEFRA and get a herd number.
Have you been to a large rural farm?
No, not really. I have driven past them, but I’m yet to work on one.
Would your family come with you?
I think my family would get bored. I am looking to get a piece of land with a friend who is studying at another college in London. It’s always great to share ideas with him.
What’s the hardest things about farming?
What’s the best things about farming?
Do you feel respected wanting to be a farmer?
At secondary school it was the same, “You just work with poo, you smell all the time.”
My mates thought it was easy. I brought some of them to the farm and they said it was the hardest thing they’d done. I think people respect my commitment. Different people want to be different things. My friends are all going to university but I’m proud of what I do, I get to see stuff that other people only get to se on the TV! It’s pretty special.
What’s next for Brandon?
He’ll be doing work experience, lambing, in March and has applied for an apprenticeship on a City Farm in North London.
More..If you want to know more about the life that Brandon is dreaming of, you can watch the Addicted to Sheep programme on BBC iplayer. We’ll be catching up with Brandon in March after his lambing experience.
More…I want to be a farmer! Meet Amy & Dan