Farmer Focus: Three mishaps in a row are embarrassing

The past couple of weeks have probably been the most embarrassing of my farming career. They say things come in threes. My story cements this fact.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a family day out to the Yorkshire Show.

My wife Sally, our toddler and I were having a leisurely stroll around the trade stands, among thousands of other people, when I suddenly looked around and Sally had vanished.

 I was stood alone with Tom, our toddler, in the pushchair.  After spending an hour traipsing around looking for her, a nice lady constable offered to help me find her.

See also: Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers

Later that week, after a morning dispute with Sally, I texted her at work to say how much I loved her and missed her and to say I was sorry.

What I didn’t realise was, I sent the message to our local NFU Chairman, John Smith. You can imagine the humiliation when he phoned me back.

The third event was when my dear friend Steve, our local Frontier rep who has a small flock of Herdwicks, asked me over to do my quarterly worming and fly-spraying routine.

These Herdwicks have had very little human or dog contact and after half an hour trying to pen them up we succeeded, but two shot under the gate and ran into the local village.

They headed straight for the local pub. Thankfully, there was a member of the public walking towards them and they were ushered into the nearest drive way.

Unfortunately for me, the house adjoining the drive way had its front door wide open and the two Herdwicks shot straight into the living room.

After a frantic, chair-flying scramble I managed to retrieve the sheep, dreading the reaction of the homeowner. Luckily he was splitting his sides with laughter!

After going to several County Shows, it always delights me to see so many youngsters showing animals, compared with 25 years ago, when there were very few.

I am sad to say this is my last column. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing them.

I always think agriculture is the backbone of Britain and seeing all these young farmers coming forward I think our industry is in safe hands.

Cheers, keep Britain farming!

James Read farms in partnership with his father, in Louth, Lincolnshire. They farm 400ha of mainly arable land, run 200 breeding sheep and a pack of working/trialling sheepdogs