A HARDWORKING young farmer has reaped a crop of top grades in his GCSEs.
Ripon Grammar School student Will Jarvis, 16, has juggled his farming work, sometimes getting up before sunrise and finishing long after sunset, with his studies and playing rugby for his county.
Currently busy cultivating wheat to prepare land for next year’s crop, he took some rare time off to celebrate achieving an impressive nine top grade 9s and two 8s.
The teenager, from Roecliffe, whose grandparents are farmers, does everything from tractor-driving to looking after livestock and helping with harvesting on a local beef, sheep and arable farm, a job he’s had since he was 15.
“I am really pleased with my results and have thoroughly enjoyed each subject, with some brilliant teachers. I’m now looking forward to starting A-levels in September.”
The talented Yorkshire Academy rugby player adds: “I choose to work long hours, alongside my school life, because I have always had a huge passion to educate people where their food comes from, as well as produce the food they are about to eat.”
He confesses he found it difficult to balance his outdoor work with revision, especially at busy periods in the farming calendar: “Being able to tell myself that studying is more important than working outside has been a challenge I had to overcome.
“I have had to balance my time with rugby too, playing for club, school and both North Yorkshire and Yorkshire this year, so prioritising schoolwork has been difficult.”
But he says farming is in his blood: “Farming is more of a way of life than a career, whether it be through the constant work required to keep livestock fed, watered, bedded, and healthy and happy too, or the working of land to prepare, plant, and maintain healthy growth of crops that will then be used the following year.
“I love my job because it varies hugely, no two days are the same, even if I am driving the same tractor or working with the same cows and calves.”
He has worked up to 16-hour days in summer: “During school holidays, weekly hours go above and beyond what most adults would work, especially when harvesting and competing against weather conditions to get the wheat crop in. As we say, ‘When the moisture is right, we will go all night’.
After A-levels in biology, chemistry, maths and geography, Will hopes to take a gap year to work as a cattle rancher in Australia, followed by silaging and large-scale harvesting in New Zealand and America, before going to university.
The busy teenager, who performs in the school’s brass ensemble, wind band and man choir, has also achieved Grade 4 in singing and is working towards grade 5 in trombone.