The Black Sheep – January 2006

31 January

Drilling and dealing

It’s a busy couple of weeks for FWi at the mo.

Direct Drilling on the forums is busily bubbling away in a very pleasing way. One forum user even commented “This forum is livening up again isn’t it!”, which is nice given the tough year we’d had with that particular potato.

The good thing about the success of Direct Drilling is that is guarantees we’ll been carrying the initiative through to another subject. So expect to see other Direct Talks, like Direct Talk on Budget 2006 with experts on hand to spread their wisdom, in the future.

Also stepping up a gear this week is, which gets its big push from the magazine on Friday. Although the service has been doing well with no promotion we feel we’re now ready to really drive our new product into the public awareness and see how she fares.

It’s not ebay, but then again it’s much more practical than ebay. Search for Tractor in ebay and you’ll be wading through toys and books, whereas with you know that’s never going to be the case (no pun intended).

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy both new offerings from the growing FWi family.

20 January

Power play

Well – I hope you like our Farmers Weekly Power Players special, if not the number 1 result.

The inevitable decision to post Tesco’s chief exec Terry Leahy at number one has succeeded in raising a few eyebrows.

Fordyce Maxwell, in today’s The Scotsman, questioned whether Leahy’s position at the top was simply “an interesting circulation-boosting ploy”.

Strangely, he then spent the rest of his article confirming how fundamental Leahy has grown to farmers’ fortunes.

A more cynical man than me would suggest there’s an inconsistency and pettiness to Mr Maxwell’s intro, but who am I to criticise a fellow journalist for their opinion.

10 January

Burger me!


fuddruckers burger 

 Declare war on you intestines!

Discussions in the office this morning have journeyed to American burger bars. More specifically Fuddruckers, which is owned by Brit, Michael Cannon (also owner of various brewery and pub chains in the UK). It’s mainly an East Coast of USA chain, with each restaurant impressively having its own butchery and bakery.

I’ve actually had the pleasure of eating in a Fuddruckers out in Washington DC and can tell you that the size of the burgers has got to be seen to be believed. When it arrives at your table you can only wonder how something that makes the table groan under the weight is going to fit in your little tummy. The answer for most of us mere mortals is basically that it won’t, with half your meal subsequently going in the bin. But I suppose for all those professional eaters who live in the States, such a burger is fair game.

Amusingly their website details the 1lb burger from their menu as “Fresh and Healthy”. Now, I don’t want to knock the use of fresh prime beef mince, which is certainly more commendable than some high street fast-food outlets, but in whose book is eating a whole pound of red meat in one sitting healthy?

6 January

MT: The crew’s back from the Oxford Farming Conference today with the general consensus being that under-pressure Tim Bennett upped the anti in his address and delivered a bit more umpf than normal.

On an unconnected note – a member of the Flock all the way over in The States has contacted the Black Sheep to say how well the footage of our staff party has gone down over there. Old Vinny boy from Iowa reckons it could make a decent foundation if we ever wanted to start a recruitment campaign across the pond.


3 January

The early bird …

MT: Happy New Year and all that jazz.

lonely man 
Err … hello ..?
Anyone …? Bueller …?
If you’re as excited as most of us about returning to the grind for another year of toil, spare a thought for Mr News Reporter, who’s return to work was even more of a downer than for the rest of us.

Keen as mustard, our young reporter yesterday vigilantly slogged his way around the M25 to arrive in good time to cover the first evening’s activities at the Oxford Farming Conference.

Slightly perturbed by the eerie silence surrounding the venue, our lad dutifully rings Mr News to find out what’s up.

Pity Father Christmas hadn’t brought our hero a calendar for Xmas as the OFC starts tonight!

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