The long-awaited performance by singing veterans, The Wurzels, went down a storm here at Harper.
Their appearance ensured a big turnout in the main bar, with everyone singing along to classics such as “I’ve got a brand new combine harvester”. They certainly showed us young’uns how it’s done, with one of them even undertaking some sort of striptease, if I remember rightly.
Next to visit was NFU president Peter Kendall, who was certainly not here to carry out anything like that – but to give an interesting talk about the NFU’s role as part of the Harper Forum.
I was so relieved to hand in my Yara Challenge, all 7,500 words of it and so the last week of term was certainly not about studying. Instead, my friend Tess and I attended Paddy’s Ball, followed by a course social in Newport, a trip out to Stafford and finished with the “nudist beach” foam party in the Harper bar. A special mention must go to Joe Williams and his accomplices who deafened me slightly by performing “you’ve lost that loving feeling” to me three nights in a row just to get his name in here.
As everyone was leaving for home on the Friday we all received a disheartening email from our SU president, Pete Dodd, informing us that due to mischievous behaviour by some students, the floor of the main bar would need to be re-laid and would be closed for up to two weeks into the summer term. To everyone’s relief this email was followed by a cheeky April fool’s message.
I took a trip out from lectures in March, which included an interview for a Sainsbury’s internship.
I was privileged to be one of the four finalists for this particular summer placement, out of around 300 that had applied. Although I have attended many interviews before, never had I done anything like this. Firstly I had to give a presentation on how I would improve a specific Sainsbury’s product. This was followed by a gruelling interview about leadership experience and a group exercise in which we had to produce a Sainsbury’s Easter recipe card. The assessors were watching our every move; I felt as though I was on The Apprentice. I later received a call telling me I’d been picked for the placement.
I also attended the Ladies in Beef launch at Butchers Hall in London where I met HRH Princess Anne, who was lovely and asked my Mum and I about our farm. It was clear that she’s passionate about the British beef industry and spoke about her own herd.
I think that Ladies in Beef can be of a real value to the industry as the image of British beef has suffered over the last 20 years. I’m certainly proud to say that we produce and eat British beef; it is an important part of a balanced diet and it tastes great. It has also been proven that consumers are more likely to trust women and we can certainly be very persuasive.
These trips to London and the Harper social life have caused my bank account to rapidly diminish and meant that I was fortunate enough to miss the first half of lambing at home. I soon paid for this, however, by arriving back to yet more TB testing and 130 acres ready for me to roll.
In fact, Sammie insisted that they had had much better results with the Beltex lambs without me, so I will remember that when she wants my help as the next group are due to lamb in May.
My crop production lectures have certainly come in handy and I am now trying to teach Dad a thing or two about grassland management. Mum, meanwhile, was extremely impressed with her Mother’s Day surprise of four machine loads of my washing.
I’d also like to think that I was getting on well with halter training some of the pedigree bull calves but sometimes I’m not sure whether I am teaching them to walk on a halter or they are teaching me to fly. I suppose at least this comes in handy for tug-of-war training with Eccleshall YFC, which is now in full swing.