FARMER FOCUS: Ladies in Beef gets new sponsor

Great British Beef Week has just finished and I have to admit to giving a small sigh of relief.

Phone calls and emails have been going mad and with calving in full swing it’s been a frenetic time.

We are now getting on for a hundred Ladies in Beef nationwide and the structure really does have legs of its own.

The saying: “Be careful what you wish for because it might just come true” is resonating with me.

Last year, during a conversation with the NFU communications team, they suggested Ladies in Beef should try and break the world record for the largest ever roast dinner.

To cut a long story short, I put a proposal to retailers and I am delighted that Asda has accepted to become the key sponsor.

The date for the event has been set for 10 October 2013 at the Royal Bath and West Showground. We’ll be aiming to serve 2,000 people a roast beef dinner and raise a substantial sum for The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

Grass growth here is still painfully slow and we’ve had frosts every night, which means we’re still feeding silage to the cows. Fat bulls have done well and they’re averaging 600kgs at 12 months of age.

I’m still wavering on whether or not to castrate this year’s continental calves – I can only imagine next year’s feed bill will be a tough bullet to bite.

Minette Batters farms a 120ha tenant farm on the Longford Estate, Wiltshire. The enterprise includes 100 continental-bred suckler cows, a catering business and horse livery. She is founder of Ladies in Beef

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