Our Testimonials

Our Testimonials



Tom Atkinson

On a sunny July day last year Tom Atkinson joined Bedfordia Farms’ arable team as our Arable Student Placement for 2021/22.

Brought up on his family’s farm in North Yorkshire near Malton (15 miles from York), Tom was out helping with the livestock – pigs and sheep and the arable side of things, from an early age. So while studying for a BSc in Agriculture at Harper Adams, Tom took up the opportunity to head south for the summer to find out what it’s like to work on a larger arable and pig farm.

During the lull before harvest , his first couple of weeks were filled with odd jobs such as preparing and servicing the machinery and filling in potholes in the roads and tracks around the farm. The temporary harvest recruits arrived around soon after and by the end of July harvesting started. Initially tasked with corn carting, Tom soon moved on to cultivation and straw carting, even spending a day or two helping in the grain store with Carl.

‘During this time I was mainly working with Graham and Fred on field cultivation, which I really enjoyed.  It was mostly minimum tillage and direct drilling using a Horsch Avatar and 6250 JD. At one stage I cultivated a 150-hectare block of wheat, which kept me busy for a while!’  

He continued to work long hours helping with preparations for drilling throughout September, applying granular herbicide Avadex (to combat black grass) with the Bateman crop sprayer and drilled until the beginning of November. 

Once the equipment was cleaned, serviced and put away Tom moved over to work with the pig teams – Highfields and Arno breeding units and Twinwoods finishing unit.

‘It’s been great working with Edd and his team, everyone has been very friendly and helpful – its hard work but I’ve learnt a lot. It’s amazing how much there is to take in as you have to be on the ball all the time, especially in the breeding unit – constantly vigilant and looking out for any changes in the piglets.’

2022 started with Tom learning the art of hedge cutting with Graham and Tommy on a JD 6250 and McConnell hedge cutter.

Tom will be with us for another harvest in 2022 as his contract runs until the end of September 22.

When he hasn’t been working Tom's enjoyed playing rugby for local team Sharnbrook and meeting up with mates.

‘I’m really enjoying my time with Bedfordia Farms, everyone has been great, encouraging me to learn new skills and making me feel one of the team.  It’s difficult to pick out a couple of highlights as I’ve enjoyed most things I’ve done, but if I was pushed I’d say learning how to drive the sprayer and working with the pigs.’

‘I’m passionate about farming and can’t see myself ever being away for this business as I think losing my home farming experience, my degree and what I’ve done with Bedfordia,  would be a waste. I think it’s important to support the farming fraternity, especially when the industry is so fragile and going through so much change.’

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