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Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

LEAF Open Farm Sunday and Cereals

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Last Sunday LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) coordinated an event across the whole country call Open Farm Sunday, the idea is for LEAF members and LEAF Demonstration farms to open their farm gates to the general public. LEAF are a very dynamic company working to ‘Link the Environment and Farming’ they do tremendous work educating farmers, teachers, school children and many other age and social groups with the importance of the environment and where their food comes from.  Our farm is a LEAF member and carrys out a LEAF Audit each year, this Audit looks at our business through a series of questions identify any areas that we could improve to make it more beneficial to the environment.

Jason and Katharine Salisbury own and run Whitegate Farm, Creeting St. Mary where they have their cheese making business called Suffolk Farmhouse Cheese (http://www.suffolkcheese.co.uk/), they are also LEAF members and hosted their second Open Farm Sunday. Patrick and I were invited by them to help out and talk to the general public about our business and work we do. We had a great morning with them as the general public came through the gate and started to get up and close with farming. Jason and Katharine had organised a full program of activities including farm tours, tractor and trailer rides, name the calf competition, basket weavers, wool spinners, children’s painting and colouring in exercises and of course cheese tasting! We take our hats off to them for organising such a full day and to get over a thousand people on to their farm is great and next year we hope to be helping them again to carry on with their success.

A couple of days later we were at Cereals the premier pure arable industry show and we popped in to see LEAF on there stand. We talked about our experience of helping on the Open Farm Sunday and although the weather was not very inviting they estimate that across the country over 100,000 people visited an open farm which is great news for LEAF and the industry as hopefully those people would have reconnected with where their food actually comes from and see what a good job British farmers do.
Cereals was another full day for us with lots to see and people to meet. Networking, chatting and looking out for new ideas was the aim of the day and we manage just about to get round and see everyone we had hoped. It is an impressive day out full show casing the changing face of this high tech industry.
We got home to discover our new machinary investment had been delivered, this investment was triggered by the dry spring and the deep cracks in the soil from lack of rain. The second hand cultivator will be used at shallow depths in preparing the fields for seed planting next year, we hope that it will reduce fuel usage and man hours in preperation for the autumn drilling. BWB

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