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Peter Chapman: Sympathy for those with flooded farms, and a great start for five farming interns


The terrible scenes we have all witnessed with the flooding of the Somerset Levels are heartbreaking.

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And while our land is now very wet after a lot of rain during January, at least it is all draining away with only the odd puddle remaining after a day’s rain at home.


I don’t know the full ins and outs of the dredging saga but to have your own ditches and drains in order only for the whole system to be held back because of poor maintenance further down the line must be so infuriating.


You all have my heartfelt sympathy and hopefully drier weather and some headline grabbing political action will remedy the situation for now and the future.


It has been fairly quiet at home over January with land now too wet for any work. We are well on with the winter ploughing with over half the 134 hectares (330 acres) turned over, but a return to drier weather and a finish to the winter’s draining campaign should see it all completed in good time.


The cows are taking up most of my daily routine. The PDing went well, with only two young cows not in calf. We had some older cows not put to the bull and these have all left as culls. All the remaining cows and heifers have been vaccinated for lepto and scour, with calving starting at the end of February.


January is also a month full of meetings and conferences. One event I attended was the presentation dinner for the Ringlink Internship programme. It has been a very successful first year with five of the six interns completing the programme and subsequently all have been offered full-time employment with either their mentor or other Ringlink members.


The programme will be continued again this year, with the plan to have 12 interns.


The training and time committed to interns is expensive but funding has been secured as many organisations now realise the importance of encouraging young people into agriculture.


It has been very satisfying to see the great start this programme has given these keen young people to hopefully fulfil a life involved in farming.

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