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Just thought I’d better write something here, seen as I’m a noob. So, a bit about myself. I’m 27, born and bred in Blackwood, South Wales and currently running the family farm after my Father sadly passed away in December from Motor Neurone Disease. Since leaving university where I studied Business Information Systems, I have been working on several farms around South Wales. 150 acre sheep and cattle farm, 400 cow dairy farm, 300 cow dairy farm, 150 cow dairy farm and then I spent 4 years working on a 25000 bird free-range egg farm with horse riding school, cattle, sheep and a plant hire business. So, I’ve had a fairly varied career within agricultue so far giving me a good idea of the different way people do things and so on.
As I say, I’m currently running the family farm (with help from my brother,21) which is around 80 acres. We are an organic farm and used to milk, but now sell store cattle. We crossed the Friesians from the dairy herd with MRI bulls, and now have a Hereford bull whose first lot of calves should be born anytime now. We also rent out some of our barns to builders, scaffolders etc which brings in more money than the cattle. I am very eager to diversify however and we are hoping to set up a farm shop within the next few years. This year will be our first year growing potatoes (only 2 acres) for about 7 years and we will be bagging these and selling straight off the farm. We will also be selling organic free-range eggs off the farm (I have 45 Blackrocks currently growing fast under heat lamps). I also keep Saddleback pigs, which we have slaughtered locally and made into sausages mainly (I find these easier to sell than joints). In the next few years I would like to either acquire more ground and keep cattle numbers the same or increased or we will need to reduce the herd and grow more vegetables for the farm shop. Only time will tell, as land doesn’t come up for sale/rent around here often.
So there we are, that’s me. I have been lurking around the forum for a while now but thought it was about time I joined!
If you have been lurking aroung the forum for some time you will need no telling that some subjects get people going more than others! They are a very friendly lot most of the time.
I found your synopsis very interesting. I can offer no practical advice from a farming perspective – I am a farm secretary who has become specialised in form filling to keep civil servants in work. I am old enough to retire but don’t quite know how I can unless I can find someone else who will take on my clients for me.
I am totally adicted to the forum and read most posts before I do anything else on the computer – I only post very rarely so hope you are duly impressed. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.