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Young Farmer Focus: Chris Newbrook - 'Farming doesn’t stop for anything so we must carry on with a sense of pride'

Chris Newbrook, 26, is a third generation farmer from Glyn Ceirog, North Wales, and farms 210 hectares (520 acres) alongside his parents and grandparents.

Growing up

 

I have been heavily involved in the farm ever since I was able to walk, taking on more responsibility as my grandfather starts to take it slightly easier. He is still active and still helps with some milking.

 

On-farm

 

Stock includes 100 British Friesian dairy cows and 150 followers, 750 ewes made up of Welsh Mules, Texel cross Mules and Welsh Mountains and the altitude ranges from 900ft to 1,650ft above sea level.

 

Day-to-day duties for me include milking, rearing calves, feeding youngstock, sheep work and some tractor work. We are a closed herd, rearing all replacement heifers using AI and an Aberdeen-Angus stock bull on heifers and cows.

 

We sell our milk to Arla and for a considerable length of time it has held the milk price at a sustainable price; credit where it is due.

 

Our excellent butterfat and protein percentages help keep the price up, which is one of the many reasons why we keep the British Friesian.


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Advocate

 

I am a keen advocate of the live auction and I am always keen to support our local market.

 

They are a vital part of modern agriculture, giving us current market values for our stock, a chance to see what animals and weights are in most demand and, something just as important, it gives us all a chance to get off the farm for a few hours to socialise and have a good laugh while we put the world to rights.

 

Covid-19

 

We are all facing a stark reality check amid the devastating outbreak of coronavirus. It is affecting us all in some way, but farming does not stop for anything so we must carry on with a sense of pride that we are keeping the nation going.

 

Air pollution levels have fallen drastically since air travel has ground to a halt, which is one good thing to come out of this pandemic. We now have evidence that our industry is not solely to blame for climate change.

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