Farmer Focus: Football fortunes inspire my farming business

I have recently experienced three different events, each for the first time.

First, we had the Coronation over the bank holiday weekend, which left me feeling incredibly proud to be British – we certainly put on such an event like no other nation.

Second, the weekend before that saw my football team, Ipswich Town, secure automatic promotion back to the Championship league.

See also: Single-parity move lifts pig herd performance

About the author

Jack Bosworth
Livestock Farmer Focus writer Essex pig farmer Jack Bosworth farms 263ha of arable and a 540-sow farrow-to-finish operation in partnership with his family. About 60% of pigs are finished at home and 150 are sent to a farm in Norfolk to finish on a bed and breakfast contract.
Read more articles by Jack Bosworth

I am sure most of you will be wondering why on earth I am writing about football in Farmers Weekly, and you probably think I’m mad to try to measure our family farming business against Ipswich Town Football Club. But we all need to take our inspiration from somewhere.

I don’t tend to get much from looking over the hedge or visiting another farm, and that isn’t meant to be disrespectful – I am just not that way inclined.

What inspires me more is people, infrastructure, and how projects develop. The club has pretty much been rebuilt in the past few years via new ownership, an overhaul in the senior management team and the playing staff.

What we have seen is that, when you get it right, amazing things can happen. Records have been broken on attendances, shirt sales and performance indicators, because of the right people coming into the club.

There are similarities with our business, where we have also gone through massive changes by buying out partners, bringing in new people, creating new revenue streams, and investing bigger – all while managing to improve KPIs.

We can still improve in many areas, particularly communication between everyone and monitoring business performance.

A wet spring hasn’t stopped us getting slurry on and feed cereals established successfully, but a bit of good luck has finally joined us on pig prices after an awful time in the past few years.

And the third big experience – last but by no means least for Amy and I – was the arrival of our son, Frederick Jack Bosworth.

He was born on 21 March at 14:09 weighing 6lb 4oz. After a few stays back in hospital due to weight loss and an infection, he is now romping on.

The baby scales are in the lounge, so I’m keeping a close eye on growth rates.