This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
104


BY JU L IE R EED


Parlour Patter, thank you to Cheryl Thomas for her contribution for the past 12 months. We now move to Bridgewater, Somerset, and Julie Reed from Eastside Farm, will be taking over for the next six issues. Julie runs 200 cows under the Yardhayes prefix with husband Chris and son Adam.


T


I’m not sure how I got asked to write Parlour Patter for a year, please don’t be expecting any fancy big words, I am a farmer and not a writer. I agreed to the job because I think it is good to put yourself out there and do things that are out of your comfort zone – although I am questioning my thinking while I write my first article – otherwise you just get stuck doing the same things.


Chris and I took on the tenancy of Eastside Farm, a Somerset County Council farm on 25th March 2008 and here we started up our own pedigree herd under the Yardhayes prefix. We began with 50 cows, milked twice a day and averaging 7500kg. Over the last seven and a half years we have developed the farm and built up our business and cow numbers. Today we milk 200 cows, three times a day, housed all year round in sand cubicles and now average 11,700kg.


I don’t envy anyone trying to start up or run a new dairy business in the current climate. I remember only too well how


his issue of The Journal sees a new writer for


hard it was for us and that was without the milk price falling through the floor. As our farm is full up with cows, our


replacement heifers are reared away, where we oversee their care. We use Genus RMS with considerable success and have an average calving age of 24 months. We have recently made quite a major change to our breeding policy and are currently breeding all our cows to beef. This is purely a business decision; with the main reason being the cost of rearing heifers away, compared to the price we can buy in freshly calved heifers. We both enjoy breeding from our pedigree families and see this as a possible temporary measure, until our farming position changes. We have two and a half years left on our tenancy here, so are always keeping an eye out for any potential suitable farms coming up for let. In the mean time we are focussing on getting ourselves in the best position, ready for that next move, where ever and whenever that may be. It was a big deal for us to move away from home at Honiton and set up at Bridgwater, but we are so pleased we did so we could prove we can run a successful business on our own.


Our main man is our two year old son, Adam, for us he is what it is all about. He has been out working on the farm since two weeks of age and is my side


kick with whatever work I am doing. He is definitely learning while out with me, just the other day he took the tube from me and decided he wanted to have a go at tubing a newborn calve. He had a good go, as he is a determined little man, but got cross when the calf wouldn’t stay still for him to get the tube in it’s mouth.


Oggy Smith came out classifying a few weeks back and was thrilled when I told him Katie was coming to take some photos of him in action. We didn’t have that many cows put out, but we’re pleased with six new excellents. At the end of August we took a family trip down to Holsworthy market where Chris had the privilege of judging North Devon Holsteins’ Calf Show. It was great to see so many quality calves and young handlers and also catch up with some old friends.


Instead of being able to sit and watch the showing, I spent more time running after Adam. The one minute I took my eyes off him he had run into the ring, through the calves, to help his Daddy with the judging. I hope that gives you a bit of an insight about me, my family and our farm. I wish everyone luck in riding out this milk price nightmare.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108