GCSE results leave pig farmer perky

A teenage boy who runs a successful pig farming business is celebrating after picking up 10 top GCSEs.

Richard Venn, from Bishop's Hull in Somerset, achieved one A*, six As and three Bs at Queen's College in Taunton - despite squeezing his studies between mucking-out sessions.

The 16-year-old, who started his business at the tender age of eight to make some pocket money, works either side of the school day feeding and looking after his pigs which he buys from Sedgemoor Market at auction.

His pigs, which are kept in top condition on the family farm, are fattened up and sold as joints, chops and sausages ready for the freezer.

Not only has running his own business given Richard invaluable work experience - he is aiming to join Harper Adams Agricultural College after his A-levels before becoming a farmer - he also has developed skills in purchasing and sales, marketing, managing finances and market bidding.

He said: "My parents don't believe in giving us pocket money for doing nothing, we are expected to work for everything we want to spend.

"This has really taught me and my brother and sisters to be self-sufficient, and to look for opportunities in life rather than just relying on the family for handouts.

"My parents are dairy and cereal farmers and life in the dairy industry is economically very challenging, plus the weather has made harvesting crops difficult this year."

As well running his pig business, Richard also spends the holidays and weekends helping out on the farm.

He is also a keen sportsman and represents Queen's College in rugby, hockey and tennis, and plays hockey for Somerset and the West of England.