Pigs & Boars

BY JIM WEBSTER I kept a few pigs before the last foot and mouth outbreak. I used to buy a weaned litter or two and fatten them on a mix of spare milk and some 16% protein dairy feed. This is grossly inefficient but was quite profitable because I was having them killed at a local abattoir. Then they were cut up for me by … Continue reading Pigs & Boars

Farm to Fork

BY NICK PEARCE Providing a seasonal tour of a traditional farming year, passionate beef farmer Joe Stanley seeks to bridge this knowledge gap and inform the reader about the journey their food takes before it gets to the plate, revealing the realities of modern agricultural life for a British lowland farmer. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, he strips observations of the countryside and agricultural … Continue reading Farm to Fork

Farmers Farm

BY JIM WEBSTER It’s a lot of years ago now. My father and I went on this farm walk organised by the Country Landowners Association. In some parts of England and Wales, the CLA seems to have a preponderance of major estates and landowners, and in other parts of England and Wales most of its members are small farmers. I think I was about sixteen … Continue reading Farmers Farm

Ignore the Deplorables

Dear Editor, I watched a television interview with Jeremy Clarkson recently in which he said that the eco-chuggers kept on getting the law changed thus making farmers’ lives increasingly difficult. Now they are after the gamekeepers and they will be after fishermen soon too. Noone pays much attention to them except for fellow eco-chuggers who have unfortunately infiltrated DEFRA and other organisations like the RSPB. … Continue reading Ignore the Deplorables

Lads

BY JIM WEBSTER I remember an old farmer commenting about lads ‘helping out.’ “One boy is one boy. Two boys is half a boy, three boys is no boy at all.” I know of a couple of farms round here that used to get a lot of lads ‘helping out.’ With village farms where the village was a community, not a dormitory suburb, it was … Continue reading Lads

Farming’s Robot Idealism

BY JIM WEBSTER I saw an interesting comment somewhere in the farming press. Apparently in agriculture we’re going to have to get with the programme and adopt more cutting edge technology. The ‘smart home’ is here, we’re now going to have the ‘smart farm’. Certainly moving to robot milking is now an option for dairy farmers. Economics and other factors might mean it’s not for … Continue reading Farming’s Robot Idealism

Farming & Politics Don’t Mix

BY JIM WEBSTER As you can imagine, a slaughterhouse will get an awful lot of paperwork, and a lot of it has to be properly disposed of because it’s government documents. So a manager I know installed a shredding machine to dispose of it securely. Last time I talked to him he saved this paper for bedding up the pen in the lairage that they … Continue reading Farming & Politics Don’t Mix