Young Farmers profile: Tractor driver Luke Pratt says ‘every day is a school day’ on a busy Norfolk farm
PUBLISHED: 10:21 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:21 02 August 2018
As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club members, 24-year-old tractor driver LUKE PRATT says there are always new skills to learn on a busy East Anglian arable farm.
I’ve always wanted to work on a farm from a young age, as I have always loved the idea of working with heavy machinery and being outside in the countryside.
My dad’s mum’s side of the family had a farm years ago, but it was sold when my dad was still quite young. He went onto work on a farm for about 10 years and then went into plant hire.
Meanwhile, I left school and went to Easton and Otley College to study agricultural engineering. I then worked with my dad for about a year before going to work for William Morfoot on land drainage systems.
During the four years I was there, I did some occasional work for a friend at Lakenheath and another friend who farms at Stoke Ferry. He heard of a tractor driver vacancy with Jeremy Porter of EW Porter and Son, at Feltwell and I have been here for nearly two years now.
My day starts at 7am but it can be at 6am when there’s de-stoning to be done in the early part of the year, as contract work for a neighbouring farm for their potatoes, onions and parsnips.
At this time of year I am usually corn-carting alongside a colleague, running the irrigation and possibly a bit of muck-carting on the wet days and then moving onto stubble cultivation.
I really like the variety of the work I do. I enjoy ploughing and heavy land work but I don’t like irrigation – well, it’s alright when everything is working. But when it’s not working properly, it is a complete pain. I enjoy hedge-cutting and doing land work ahead of the drill.
Because of the weather putting a hold on harvest early this week, I have been doing yard jobs. I enjoy keeping my tractor clean and even have a bit of carpet in it.
In a few years’ time I would hope to still be on this farm. I’d like to do my spray tickets and other courses and I hope to use the Young Farmers Skills Initiative fund to assist with the costs of these courses.
I take every day as it comes. I learn by my mistakes and I listen to what other people show me. Every day is a school day.
Name: Luke Pratt
Occupation: Tractor driver
Location: EW Porter and Son, Feltwell
YFC Club: Swaffham YFC
How long have you been a YFC member?: One year
• Swaffham YFC meets at the Conservative Club in Swaffham on Wednesday evenings. For more details about Norfolk Young Farmers contact the county office on 01603 731307.