As I write this, I’m recovering after a busy day in the pens tagging and weighing. But today had a difference as it wasn’t lambs I was herding, but about 800 school children! I had spent the day helping out at Westmoreland Agricultural Society schools farm open day, kindly hosted by the Mason family at Heaves Hall Farm.
It is a wonderful event held over two days to help educate around 1,600 school children, teachers and parents about farming, food and rural skills. It’s a very satisfying feeling to be part of an event like this, helping to educate and inspire the next generation of consumers. I think as an industry, we can’t do enough to try and educate the public. Our consumers lead busy lives and are bombarded with mixed messages about the food they eat. I’d like to think events like this demonstrate a clear and positive message about British farming.
June saw shearing completed in a whirlwind 36 hours. Mark Fox and his shearing team did a fantastic job as ever and heroically finished the day with 35 Texel shearling tups, which, as I’m sure you’d imagine, they were thrilled about! As ever though, it wasn’t a problem and was a very good job done.
Building work on the dairy unit at Robbs Water continues with the landscaping and underground slurry store. As we are building on clay it has allowed the walls of the store to be constructed by digging deep narrow trenches which hold their form to create a mould, which has been filled with re-enforced concrete. It is an old fashioned technique which has worked well so far. Clay can be tricky at times but you’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got. Mike Marsh has done a superb job with the groundworks and things are really taking shape. Next is the construction of the building over the mould before digging out the store and adding the floor.
We are selling lambs every week at the moment and the 2015 lamb trade continues to disappoint. With the strong pound badly affecting our price, the one silver lining for me is that there seems to be good demand for lamb, albeit at a low price. Hopefully our friends in the Eurozone can sort out their problems soon. We have a great product and we have to keep on shouting about it, which I suppose brings neatly back round to weighing schoolkids!
Will Case farms 300ha (750 acres) in partnership with brother Simon and parents William and Margaret at Ulverston, Cumbria. Land is divided between Plumpton Cottage Farm, and Robbs Water Farm, near Burrow in Furness. They farm 1, 000 lowland ewes, 90 pedigree Texel ewes, 65 Salers suckler cows, fatten 150 bought-in store cattle and have 12, 000 free-range laying hens.