FARMER FOCUS: Fund raising success for Africa

We enjoyed incredible success with the Oliver-James McCrea Memorial Tractor Run, BBQ and charity auction, which we organised in August.

It surpassed all expectations, with more than 160 tractors turning up and the 900 people who attended consuming 900 burgers, 400 sausages, two hog roast pigs and a roast lamb. It was quite an evening.

The day raised a staggering £22,000 in aid of an African orphanage and medical centre (www.fame.uk.net).

It has been a positive and rewarding experience and a very fitting tribute to the memory of our wee son Oliver-James who we lost two and a half years ago.

Thanks to all who helped and supported this event – there are too many to mention individually. In addition, the tremendous generosity of the community was overwhelming.

Now back down to earth with the day-to-day running of a busy pig farm. I’m glad I enjoy what I do.

The pig business has improved greatly with pig prices firming and feed costs now finally reducing. Let’s hope we can have a much more sustainable time ahead.

My newly installed whey tank has run dry due to reduced supply and I am left wondering whether my investment was a wise one.

I hope as cows start calving in the autumn the supply will start to increase again, although talking to one local dairy farmer has not helped my confidence.

He believes whey will soon be a thing of the past as dairies are investing heavily in equipment that will take all the nutrients out of the milk leaving no waste, or in other words, no whey.

Oops! Time will tell, but as long as the supplies are available, my investment is very worthwhile.

Andrew McCrea farms a 740-sow birth-to-bacon business and 150 beef cattle on 37ha. Andrew is a DARD Focus Farmer and was 2010 Farmers Weekly Pig Farmer of the Year

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