Though it’s not quite the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in Montana where he spent the best part of two years, the serene Shropshire countryside is just enough for Timmy Braithwaite to feel somewhat at home.
“There’s certainly more space out there,” he laughs. “Rural in Montana means rural – you’re out in the middle of nowhere with only mountains around you. It meant a huge lifestyle change moving over here, but it’s nice not to be living out of a suitcase any more.”
Timmy moved back to the UK in October and joined the Sansaw team shortly after. It’s not completely unfamiliar territory however, as his father, Bruce, works for Sansaw as Farm Manager.
“That wasn’t intentional, though when I heard there was a job going over here I jumped at the opportunity. I also worked alongside Chris [head tractor driver] up in Aberdeen before moving to the States – we’ve always managed to catch up with each other somehow!”
Having grown up on a farm, Timmy knew that he wanted to go into farming from a young age, though his interests certainly lay in the machinery side of things.
“I’m much more at home around mechanics and machinery, so when I left school in 2013 that’s what I went straight into. In my spare time I do what I can to improve my skills, especially with so much machinery round here there’s always a need for a mechanic.”
During Timmy’s work day, challenges don’t just come in the form of a faulty tractor…
“The cows definitely know how to push their luck. Some days they can be absolute angels and move where you need them to, but it’s the younger ones that are cheeky and like to test our patience sometimes!
“There are days that the older cows will get bursts of energy and start bucking whilst walking, which means they’re happy so that’s a good sign, but they’re generally much easier to get around.”
Living on the estate with his girlfriend, Timmy not only uses his spare time learning about mechanics, but is also a dab hand at restoring furniture.
“It’s strangely therapeutic but it’s definitely a lot different to what we got up to in Montana. Out there we bought a jet-ski to get out on the lakes with, so whenever we got a free moment we’d be out on that. Other times, we’d go out taking photos trying to spot bears – once we saw a whole family running across a field, which was just amazing.”