Minette Batters calls for a strong NFU top table

We’ve just finished treating all the cows and calves for fluke. I manually drenched all of them and as much as my arms were aching at the end, it was pleasing to put animals through the crush without injecting them. Yearly TB testing means every time they go through the crush they get a jab of some sort. We also pregnancy tested the cows, with 95% in calf it’s a good enough result.

This year the farm takes on another diversification project, as we try our hand at luxury camping, commonly known as glamping. At present we’re wading our way through the planning process, which means my new year’s resolution of lowering my alcohol intake is being severely tested.

My term as NFU county chairman for Wiltshire finishes in February. I took on the role with a good deal of apprehension. For like a few other farmers I had in the past been known to complain: “What’s the NFU doing for me”? The truth is the NFU does a huge amount. It’s a vast organisation with a tremendously talented staff resource that works incredibly hard on behalf of farmers. It’s been an honour and a pleasure to represent Wiltshire at NFU council.

The officeholder elections in February will be interesting. Good as Peter Kendall is, it’s a shame that his deputy and vice have chosen not to challenge and opted for trying to hold their current positions. With CAP reform and TB eradication on the political agenda, the NFU must have a competitive “top table” who will strive to achieve for the membership.

Famer Focus: Minette Batters

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