Farmer Focus: Safety review reveals defibrillator disparity

It’s been a quieter few weeks. Well, it has for me, but maybe not the whole team.

The quiet periods allow me to take stock of what we are doing and get out and about a bit.

About the author

Rob and Jo Hodgkins
Livestock Farmer Focus writer
Rob and Jo Hodgkins run 2,300 ewes across 210ha of grass and have 566ha of arable in Hertfordshire, producing lambs for Tesco and breeding sheep through Kaiapoi Romneys. Subsidy-free sheep farming means ewes must be functional, lamb outdoors and produce lambs on forage alone.
Read more articles by Rob and Jo Hodgkins

We had a team visit to the Nuffield Conference. It’s a great event if you ever get the chance to go.

This year, rather than each speaker having 15 minutes, they grouped three people together, gave them 10 minutes each to speak and then 15 minutes as a panel to answer questions.

The new format worked well and I hope it continues.

See also: Nuffield scholarships to focus on regenerative agriculture

We also had more time “off the island” (off the farm!) and went to the Farm Business Innovation Show.

This was something new for us and it was interesting to look at diversifications, milk vending machines and dairy equipment.

We were there to try to get ready for the new sheep dairy. We hope planning consent will arrive any day now.

Monty and Jo did their first aid training as part of the business’s health and safety policy. I think it’s really important for us.

Given the amount of solo and remote working we do, we like all members of staff to be first aid-trained.

Off the back of this we’ve had a renewed effort on signage, and first aid kits have been refreshed and installed in new vehicles.

We’ve also tried to put a sheet of emergency numbers and the locations of automated external defibrillators in each kit.

It has highlighted to us that there is a massive difference between the registered defibrillator units you can search for on the internet and the ones that could be really close to you.

It’s definitely worth taking the time to make sure your team knows where the nearest defibrillator is, should it ever be needed.

As part of Jo’s new 11-year crop mega-rotation on the arable unit, we’ve just signed a sugar beet contract.

This should help in our battle against grass weeds, and George, our little boy, is super keen on seeing the beet harvesters work.

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