FARMER FOCUS: Optimistic about lambing

Lambing season is in full swing. Having endured January’s snow and Schmallenberg, our lambing has since been less stressful, with early lambs growing on well and with us feeling more optimistic.

Lambing courses are proving popular and it is encouraging to see young people keen to enter the farming profession. Sleep, when you can grab it, is precious, but I was so pleased to be invited to represent agriculture at the careers fair of our local school, I agreed.

In the lambing shed at 4am, followed by a full day’s teaching at the college (lambing lectures of course), I made it bleary eyed to the careers fair in the evening. It was worth it, as I was rewarded with many enquiries from enthusiastic youngsters wanting to work in the agricultural industry. The future is bright.

A primary school group is due to visit the farm next week, sponsored by Tesco, which is even supplying their wellies.

Education is so important in our industry and young minds are keen to absorb information. It’s about connecting with food and knowing where it comes from.

There has been an increase in sales in our family butcher’s shop following the recent horsemeat saga and it’s reassuring to see more consumers asking questions about provenance.

At the time of writing, we are having a dry spell and it is a pleasure to see ewes and lambs (and farmers) enjoying the sun on their backs. Taking advantage of the warm weather, I decided to put the washing out – a risky business at the moment. Jim has a habit of flinging placentas over his shoulder, out of the lambing shed. Perhaps I need to move my washing line.

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

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