Farmer Focus: Christmas orders piling up at the butcher shop

It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was writing my last entry, the time has flown.

It’s been a busy month with plenty to do on the farm. All store cattle are now housed, as the fields are saturated. They are very content in the shed, and are gaining weight well.

The average daily liveweight gain for steers is consistently about 1.2kg. We are happy with this, as they are a traditional breed and the level of finishing is perfect for the dry ageing process.

See also: Three-stage approach helps meet beef specifications

The cows and youngstock are still out on the higher ground and will remain out for the winter.

Lambs are finishing steadily, and we are nearly finished with our male lambs. We have had to introduce hard feed into their ration as wet weather has made finishing on forage alone impossible. The tups are out and all ewes are marked, with the majority going to the tup within the first cycle. Fingers crossed for a good scanning.

Fantastic event

The Royal Welsh Winter Fair took place last week, and my grandfather was asked to open the event. It was a great day and we were all very proud. It is a fantastic event and showcases the best Wales and the UK has to offer. It is a celebration of our industry and a credit to all those who take part.

This year’s shows, both summer and winter, have been record-breaking. The funds raised and events held have been astonishing. Much of the credit must go to this year’s president, Brian Jones.

I had the honour of spending time with Brian at the event and his passion for the agricultural and food industry in Wales is clear to see.

His enthusiasm for Welsh produce and supporting Welsh farmers was inspirational, and it was great to hear him share his passion and knowledge. He has most certainly done himself and his county proud as the passing year’s host county. Next year’s county and president-elect has big boots to fill. 

The Christmas orders are beginning to pile up and I, and the team at the butcher shop, have a busy time ahead. There will be many early mornings and late nights over the festive period.

It is a very rewarding time and all our customers appreciate the effort that goes in to producing their Christmas lunch. As one customer told me, “the two most important people at this time of year is the butcher and Santa Claus”.

Shaun Hall Jones and his father Barrie farm 1,000 ewes, including an Abermax nucleus flock, and 40 Welsh Black cattle across 364ha near Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire. New projects include a farm butchery business and a shop in Cardiff.