I have just returned from the Devon County Show, where I showed my usual consignment of Whiteface Dartmoor sheep. I had a 2nd, 3rd and 4th, which is good, but the competitor in me was a little disappointed. I have been showing there since 1988 and I will return to fight another day.
Gemma and I also judged the Devon YFC ‘Ready Steady Cook’ competition. Teams of two had to cook a meal for less than £10 from local produce in 30 minutes. Dartmoor Farmers sponsored the event and it was highly entertaining, with mixed results. It is a great advert for the YFC, with the youngest entrant being 12 years old, and they all did a fantastic job.
Dartmoor Farmers has won several awards for its beef and lamb lately and as a result we were honoured to supply the beef for the Stewards and Stockman’s Dinner at the show. It is a difficult crowd to please, with 400 farmers in attendance, but I was very proud that Dartmoor Farmers’ beef took centre stage at the pinnacle of Devon’s agricultural calendar, and so far everyone I have spoken to enjoyed it.
The show always draws a line in the sand between winter and summer and is a great release after a long Dartmoor winter. It always seems to come around so quickly, especially this year as Tom had his first birthday a couple of weeks ago and last year Gemma missed the show completely, looking after him. It is great to catch up with faces old and new and the show is a credit to all involved.
Mathew Cole, his brother Neil and parents Arnold and Bridget, farm 1,800 acres on and around Dartmoor. They keep South Devon and Galloway suckler cows as well as Scotch and Swale ewes on the hills with mule lambs bred to sell. They also have pedigree flocks of Bluefaced Leicester and Whiteface Dartmoor ewes.