Rawsons find some Christmas cheer despite bad news

Unfortunately I must start 2012 with the news that my wife Catherine’s grandfather, Tom Lodge, died on Boxing Day at the age of 89. He will be sadly missed by many in the agricultural community.

When Tom retired in 1989 he was the fifth generation to farm Toby Wood Farm, Denby Dale – with the Shire horse playing as big a role as the tractor in his life and career. Tom has left an amazing record of his life in the form of notes in diaries for every day dating back to 1946, including lot numbers bought, and weights and prices of stock and produce sold.

With a week off between Boxing Day and new year we headed back up to Yorkshire. A real hit has been the Farm-opoly game we bought mum and dad for Christmas. Everybody seemed to conform to type. I bought properties everywhere but ran into cash-flow trouble; Catherine preferred to look at her money in her hand rather than invest; dad built huge barns on his; and mum just made purchases with the sole purpose of winding him up. Luckily father won, keeping it a friendly affair.

At Dewsbury it was 14C on Christmas Day, a far cry from a low of -16C last December. The weather from now until April will dominate our thoughts, in respect of supplies of bedding and forage. There’s grass out there, but will we be able to get it?

Happy new year to all Farmers Weekly readers.

Tom and Catherine Rawson are involved in three separate dairy farming businesses. The core activity is milking 1,250 cows on four units. Tom is also a partner in a dairy consultancy company.

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