On the final day of National Young Farmers Week, so we thought we would end the week with a blog from Matt Dibble, a young farmer who has been sharing his very personal journey of how he is setting up his own farm with his +5,000 Instagram followers.
According to Matt: “Breaking into the farming industry is not easy when you aren’t born into a farming family”. So, to gain as much experience as possible, Matt studied Agriculture at The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, graduating in 2016 and landed a job as a shepherd shortly after…
Matt’s focus has been, ultimately, to have his own farm and flock, so we thought this was the perfect opportunity to ask him some questions…
Why did you start your Instagram account @farm_and_flock?
“I started my account as a way to record my experiences and share it with others who face similar challenges in the industry. I want to help motivate other farmers, young or old, who face their own daily struggles. Essentially leading by example. I hope that by sharing what I go through and have been through, will help demonstrate that anything can be possible.”
Since leaving university, what has been the biggest hurdle you have faced?
“My biggest battle is working out how to start my own farm. I have explored various different avenues but all options seem to be just out of reach. I know it will take time, but I hope that I find the right path eventually. Even though I haven’t found the secret to it yet, you can be sure that when I do, I will share it with you all.”
Why do you think having a community of support around you is important?
“A farmer’s life can be extremely unpredictable which makes it difficult for those who aren’t a farmer themselves to understand. This is why friends and family are so important to those working in agriculture. Everything that they do for that person won’t go unnoticed and makes an enormous difference in their life and mental wellbeing.”
“Sometimes there can be so many more lows than highs and this can take a massive toll on farmers mentally. It can be a very lonely and isolating life and this is why it is important to take time away from the farm to spend quality time with friends and family… and try fit a hobby in too!”
Have you reached out to your family, friends or local community for guidance on starting your own farm?
“I have benefitted so much from the support of others, whether they have been directly or indirectly involved with agriculture. It isn’t exactly the easiest of industries to survive in, but I am consistently motivated by their drive and passion for life. It has been this network of voices that have helped me feel so supported. We are all in it together.”
Why do you love the industry you are in?
“I keep working towards my goal because I wouldn’t want to live my life any other way. Every single job or lifestyle will face various challenges, that’s just the way it goes. I want to prove to myself that I can make a difference in the industry and reach my ultimate goal.”
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in agriculture, what would it be?
“I live by the saying that everything happens for a reason… farm because it makes you happy and because you are doing something that directly contributes to the lives of others.”
Follow Matt’s journey and adventures on Instagram at @farm_and_flock
If you are feeling stressed or struggling with work, or life in general, FARMING HELP can get you access to free, impartial and confidential support. Just call 03000 111999