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G.M.Hunter Ltd.

Tilbrook Grange

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Devon Cattle Breeders Herd Competition 2016


March 2018

By jameshunter1, Apr 16 2018 08:08PM

Life up on the farm (by James Hunter)

It has been the most disappointing month in the five years I have been giving a monthly report.

I start my mentioning The NFU conference again. At one of the breakout sessions on the back of each seat there was a hi-viz jacket. In every row there were a couple of red vests rather than the normal yellow ones. This broke the ice and started us chatting. What were they for? We all had to put on & keep the jackets. I had a yellow one but knowing what I do now, I should have had a red one. They indicated the percentage of people in farming who would be involved in an accident. The industry has a dreadful record, and the point was made well. A fortnight ago I was just two rungs up a ladder, drilling a hole, when the ladder slipped away. I fell, knocked my head, and broke my wrist. I am not looking for sympathy as I was my fault & I should know better. It just emphasises the fact that these little jobs are all a risk and accidents can happen so quickly. The eight hours in A & E was not pleasant, there are better places to be on a Friday evening up to midnight! In the following week I had an operation to put it straight, pin & plaster it. I am now making progress.

In this report last March all the spring barley had been drilled and the cattle were all out at grass. So far we have done just one day’s drilling and the ground will have to dry out a lot following the wet Good Friday (21mm) before we shall be able to continue.(pictured) All the cattle are still in the buildings. The grass has greened up and is starting to grow but the land is far too wet for the cattle to be on it. The cost of feeding for an extra month is considerable. We have enough hay & straw but would have preferred to be selling a couple of loads & watching the cattle grazing the fresh grass.

March 22nd there was the annual Devon Breed Spring sale at Sedgemoor market. This year it was Tilbrook Altas’s turn for the long journey. He is an 18 month old bull with Tilbrook, Australia and New Zealand breeding in his pedigree. (pictured)The prices in the auction reflected the confidence in the current state of agriculture.

Sadly I have to report the sad loss of a past employee. My father set on Jim Old as tractor driver & general farm worker in 1977. He was a young chap from a farm near Rushden. He worked hard and lived life to the full. He was always out and about after work & ran a disco in the evenings (loudly). After a few years he took the stockman’s vacancy and moved into a cottage on the farm. He looked after the animals well for many years. He enjoyed his work and was successful. Whilst with us he married Rachel and they had a daughter Katie. He moved on to fresh pastures at Ravensden in 1993. We kept in touch over the years; he would occasionally call in on the way back from Thrapston market & recall old times. He was very well known and respected for his skill by the farming community. He continued to work at Ravensden until his tragic untimely death. Our thoughts are with Rachel and family at this sad time.

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