Farmer Focus: Lambing Live cameras return to the Beavan family farm

I’m one of life’s optimists, but it can be hard when events out of your control keep grinding you down.

We’ve started lambing, although I’m not sure where and when we’ll be putting ewes and lambs outside as more rain is forecast and the ground is sodden. We are however not as badly affected as the poor farmers in Somerset, and my heart goes out to all who have suffered in the horrific floods.

It’s at times like this when the farming community rallies together with offers of fodder and bedding from across the UK and also when the world of social media comes into it’s own.

The speed at which information can be passed around is amazing if used correctly. This year there is a new Twitter account with a different farmer taking over the tweets every week (@FarmersOfTheUK). The idea is to give the general public an insight into our farming lives. We take the helm from 17 February, which I am slightly apprehensive about as we have no mobile signal on the farm, so I think our tweets may be erratic.

The Lambing Live film crew were back on the farm last week filming for a pre-live programme to go out before the live broadcast from Scotland in March. We wish the new family good luck; hope they enjoy it and get as much out of it as we did. It’s not easy sharing your life on film but so important to enhance that link between farm, food and consumers.

Emotions ran high at our regional TB Eradication Delivery Board meeting this week where, among other issues, risk-based trading and vaccination were discussed. It seems that there are many tools available but not all are being used. Ongoing trials and research will hopefully speed up this process.

We’re currently shut down with bTB through a trace test, which was positive. It is heartbreaking watching the seven-month-old calf being loaded up on the huge empty lorry and taken away. Although no lesions were found, culture results were positive. We are trying to remain optimistic.

Kate Beavan farms 200ha alongside her husband Jim on one of two family farms near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. The main enterprises comprise 900 breeding ewes and 50 suckler cows. Meat is sold direct to the family’s traditional butchers shop. Kate and Jim hosted the first series of Lambing Live in 2010

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