From time to time, I write about my farming exploits below. I also tweet photos and updates as @dairychris much more frequently.
In June, I came to the end of two very enjoyable years at Reaseheath studying Agriculture and Dairy Herd Management. Today was the final get-together for our little band of agrics: official silly hat day.
Chris, Larry and I have been rearing calves at Frankton for fourteen months now. Our little unit has grown rapidly since those first thirty arrivals and we’ve raised several hundred happy, healthy calves.
I’ve just come to the end of my first year at Reaseheath and the urge to get my feet wet in a real farming enterprise became too great to resist. Joining forces with Chris Roberts, my dairy farmer friend from Oswestry, and Larry Anscombe, another friend on my course, we’ve rented a building and set up a calf rearing unit in Welsh Frankton.
Tumbleweed is threatening to infest this blog again; it’s high time to dust the cobwebs off my keyboard and write another update.
It’s been a busy year so far, and my farming blog is now well-overdue for an update. So what’s happened in the past few months?
Two weeks later, the Dairy Academy moved on to buying and selling with a session about contracts and negotiation skills.
Our third Dairy Academy evening session was on communications, tenancy applications and presenting a business case.
Well, I still haven’t put myself off! The more I do this job, the more I love it. The past few years of part-time farm work have flown by.
A grey mid-November morning found the Dairy Academy crew making off with a minibus from Reaseheath, out on a trip to the Wiseman factory at Droitwich.
After the excellent first session, it didn’t take long for the next Dairy Academy evening to roll around. This time, our subject was financing and benchmarking farming ventures.
The end of the summer found me wondering about my next steps. I’d been steadily building up my stockmanship and practical skills, but despite a reasonable amount of non-farming business experience, the jump from milking cows to taking on a farm of my own felt formidable.
A newcomer to the dairy farming world, it’s quite daunting to write about my experiences in front of seasoned and battle-hardened farmers, particularly when I’ve struggled to explain my interest and motivation to my friends. Nonetheless, I’ve promised to give it my best shot.