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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

Luke Pratt of Swaffham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: Norfolk YFC

Luke Pratt of Swaffham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: Norfolk YFC

Norfolk YFC

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.

Luke Pratt of Swaffham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: Norfolk YFCLuke Pratt of Swaffham Young Farmers' Club. Picture: Norfolk YFC

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.

PROFILE:

Name: Luke Pratt

Age: 24

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.

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