A 13-year-old entrepreneur schoolboy has set up a farming business after renting a neighbour's land to rear his flock of sheep. Young farmer William Banham fed, watered and wormed eight animals before taking them to be slaughtered and selling on the produce.
William, of Long Bredy, Dorset, who’s not from a farming background, started out at the age of six, learning the ropes and determined to be his own boss.
He was just 12 when he found a patch of land to start ‘Will’s Lambs’. When he’s not attending Sir John Colfox school, he braves all weathers to single-handedly feed and water his flock.
William said: “I was determined to work for myself, not for somebody else.
“I don’t think any of my friends have their own businesses – sometimes they joke about it, but I think mostly they’re quite impressed.”
He doesn’t come from a farming family, but has helped out on a farm from the age of six. And while many adults are squeamish at the thought of where meat comes from, Will’s attitude towards the realities of life is mature beyond his years.
“I know I’ve given them the best life possible so I wasn’t too sad about taking them to the abattoir. You just have to accept that’s how it is.
“I also want to make sure every part of the animal is used, and will be selling the sheep skins.”
His mother Caroline said: “William would have me drop him down there at 6am – he’d stay there for 12 or 14 hours if he could.
“During lockdown, every morning and afternoon he’d have to go and check the sheep. “But he’s never failed to get up, he’s been really responsible.”
Feedback from customers has been ‘amazing’, according to Caroline.
“Everyone has been in touch to say it’s a great-tasting product. Will’s just got this amazing spirit, he gets things done.
“He’s quite self-motivated when he wants to do something. We’re really proud of him, and the fact he’s done everything himself.”