The next member of the World Angus Forum’s much anticipated youth competition that we’ve had the chance to speak to is Brandon Brockett of Bow in the East End of London, who is currently studying towards his Level 3 Animal Care and Management Apprenticeship at Keits College. Brandon’s background is a little different to the other team members we’ve spoken to, having not originally been brought up in a farming environment.
Brandon was introduced to farming when he was 11 on a city farm in the centre of London. Farming wasn’t Brandon’s first choice for a career at that young age, however once he spent some time on the farm and learned new skills, he quickly realised the passion he had for livestock and farming, and decided that it was definitely what he wanted to do.
Brandon’s earliest experiences of farming have seen him learn so much more than just farming skills and abilities, as he thanks his early farming work for teaching him communication skills and how to teach and learn from others, thanks to working on a regular basis with his workmates.
Brandon completed his Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care at Capel Manor College from 2014 – 2015. While completing the qualification, he gained valuable work experience at Crystal Palace Farm working mainly in lambing. This is where Brandon caught wind of the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme. Since attending the Youth Development Programme (YDP), Brandon fell in love with working with cattle, and has seen himself grow in confidence around cattle so much so that his current workplace, Surrey Docks Farm, has put him in charge of all the business and handling of their small Red Poll Herd. When discussing his experience of the Youth Development Programme, Brandon said:
‘’Having only previously worked with sheep and goats on halters, and only shown and prepared sheep, the YDP work with cattle was a big jump for me. However, with a bit of encouragement and courage, I got stuck in and it almost felt like second nature having the animal on a halter and walking her around.’’
When discussing why he was so keen to be involved in the upcoming World Angus Forum youth competition, Brandon said:
‘’I’m always itching to get more experience of dressing and showing cattle to further my skills in that area. This experience will do exactly that and open some doors for the future, making new connections and meeting people that I could potentially even work with in the future after my apprenticeship.’’
Upon discovering the news that he’d been selected as part of the team, Brandon had the following to say:
‘’My reaction was pure shock. I was completely lost for words, but at the same time I’m very proud of myself as this is one of the biggest achievements I’ve had so far.’’
The World Angus Forum 2017 Youth Competition will encompass a 12-day-long series of exciting tasks and challenges, culminating in the prestigious final at Netherton/HW Angus on the final leg of the tour on Sunday 2nd July. More information on the Youth Competition can be found at: http://worldangusforum2017.com/youth-programme.