Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Farm Boyz.

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FOR ANTHONY TURTON and Dwayne Browne, their childhood friendship has grown to foster a profitable business partnership. The two are members of the farming community located at Cotton House Club, Church Village, St Phillip, where they rear poultry and livestock with other young farmers in the area under the name

Turton explained that when he was growing up, his grandmother owned pigs and sheep, and “from the time he could walk”, taking the sheep out and moving them was one of his chores.

As schoolmates at St Phillip Primary School, Browne would render assistance to his best friend Turton as he took care of the animals, and he too grew to love animals.

At age 12, Turton was given his first cow by his uncle whereas Browne purchased his first calf named “Chow Mein” approximately ten years ago, bringing it home in his car. Now, at age 36 the two men have grown significantly in their farming capabilities. Much of their knowledge came through hands-on experience, but they also sought the mentorship of other experienced farmers. They credit some of their learning to dairy farmer Miller St John.

Furthermore, they also attended courses and seminars hosted by the Rural Development Commission and IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture) which have better equipped them with information to improve their farming skills.

These courses have helped them to better recognise when the animals are not well or when they are in heat.

They have also sat on the Board for Beef and Dairy under the Barbados Agricultural Society.

Cows are the first love of Turton whereas Browne has a passion for poultry. Pigs and sheep are also reared at their Cotton House Club location. They admitted that even though caring for animals is an expensive undertaking, it is a very profitable venture and the meat from their animals is sold to supermarkets, restaurants and butchers. In the initial stages, they found farming to be challenging but over time, as they gained more experience, it became easier to take care of their animals.

Neighbour Mark Butcher, said that watching the two young farmers inspired him to get into farming as well.

Therefore, he has also attended a course with Turton and Browne, and now rears his own livestock. For the past seven years, the young men have participated in the agricultural exhibition

and have placed in the competition five times. Apart from their winnings, they credit the event with giving them an opportunity to market their business.

While they all believe that farming is a good venture which more young people should get involved in, Turton offered some words of advice to interested persons.

“Anyone going into farming should research it first.

Find out what is involved and make an informed decision,” he said. “Start as hobby [and] grow to love the animals first, because there is a lot that must be put into it before you can get good returns from it.” He stressed that people should not just jump into farming because there is a great amount of sacrifice which is required initially, with respect to both time and money.

full-time farmer, Dwayne Browne, grooming his prized bull, ahead of this year’s Agrofest. Anthony Turton, part-time farmer, tending to some of the piglets on his farm and farmer Mark Butcher displaying one of his many pigs.

(Pictures by Christoff Griffith.)

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