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Tony Shepherd and John Henderson: Share farming gains momentum and an enjoyable farm tour


The Henderson/CLA share farming initiative is gathering momentum, with a series of three meetings taking place at the local agricultural colleges which John hopes will attract equal numbers of CLA members and students alike.

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The first meeting, at Bishop Burton, Yorkshire, took place on Wednesday and the second meeting is set for Monday at Myerscough, Lancashire. I am acting as John’s wingman to answer questions from the share farm operator’s perspective. the third meeting is at Askham Bryan, York, on Wednesday.


Back on-farm, this month has been about fat cattle, draft ewe and lamb sales, along with feed bills, farm assurance, sheep tags and transport. The fat cattle all came back as U grades, which was better than expected and the associated bonus payment will be more than welcome.


At our last farm meeting we had a ride around the grounds for John to have a good look at the stock. With the sun shining and the animals content with the grass in front of them, it was an hour well spent and one of those moments which make farming so enjoyable.


Our latest arrivals of newly-weaned suckled calves from a regular supplier were in very good vocal form for several days and it is at times like this you wish the farmhouse was a bit further away from the buildings. With the cow milk replaced by creep feed, and after a few days’ cooling-off period, some have been turned back out to enjoy the last of the summer grass.


We bought three new Suffolk ram lambs and a two-shear at the multi-breed tup sale at Craven Cattle Marts. It is quite an event, with farmers travelling some distances to both buy and sell. The Suffolk section used to match the Texels in terms of numbers forward but now there are only half the number. The best were keenly bid for but I do not think there was the quality of previous years.

  • The share farming meetings start at about 5pm. Anyone interested in attending contact CLA North office on 01748 907 070.
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