MORE and more young farmers are travelling internationally through their agriculture skills, so what are the benefits of adventuring abroad?

In 2015, John Cheesebrough of Buildings Farm, Wylam travelled to the other side of the world to work on a 50,000-acre farm for three months in Australia, in an effort to broaden his experience of the industry. “I realised quickly that the Australian arable farming system is quite different to ours in the UK,” said John. “When it comes to sowing they are really forward thinking. For example, they produce a lot of generically modified crops and practise direct drilling, which I knew little about before. It’s a great way to save on spray bills.”

Since returning to the beef and arable family farm, which he tends with his father David and mother Jean, John has made some changes on the farm based around experience abroad, including purchasing auto steer for the farm’s tractor after taking to it Down Under.

“I’d encourage any young farmer to spend time abroad if they can. If you only ever work on your home farm forever, you’ll always be stuck to your dad’s ways forever, and never learn to do thing’s your own way. Each farmer has something different to teach.”

Currently, John is secretary of Stamfordham Young Farmers’ Club, which he has been a member of for 14 years, but at 27, this year will be his final in the club.

“It really builds your confidence up,” he said.

“You see kids joining who are really nervous, just like I once was, but in a year they’ll be bounding around with the rest. I’ll miss it, but there’s no doubt I’ll still keep in touch with everyone, and support Stamfordham whenever I can.”