News & Blog

Social Media - Important Tool for Farmers

2013-05-07 00:00:00

Over a year ago I followed a twitter conversation #agrichatuk which took place on a Thursday
evening from 8-10pm.  It seemed like a great way for people in the farming communities and people interested in the farming issues to communicate and share ideas - and also a way for non-farmers like me to be able to chat to farmers regarding issues I was interested in.  Over a year later, it is a hugely successful Thursday night gathering.  It is joined by many other agritwitter groups such as #AgGen and #clubhectare.  Farmers Weekly published a very good introduction to these three groups, The Farmers Leading a Twitter Revolution, which is well worth a read.

Tune for the blood screening In Dumfries

2013-01-15 00:00:00

I wish I was going up to Dumfries to see Tune for the Blood in a wonderful venue - The Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre.  It's also very exciting that it is being screened through a collaboration between the Centre and the local young farmers association with Young Farmers members being offered a concession and We hope that this kind of collaboration can be a model for other groups and help to make links between venues and young farmers.  We hope to post some photographs of the event soon - although I wish I could be there to take the pictures in person! 

Jono Rogers, our favourite dairy farmer, inaugurates his new milking parlour!

2013-01-08 00:00:00

Jono Rogers, one of the young farmers featured in 'Tune for the Blood' has longed to get a new milking parlour.  In the film he talks about the problems with the old parlour, then 30 years old, and the pressing need for a new parlour.  As always, there is much to consider as the investment is large and involves taking on a considerable loan.  Jono has been to dairy events and seen robotic milkers at work and admired the technology, but they are very expensive.  One of the proposals is to re-locate the parlour and build new housing for the cows.  Again this involves considerable expense.  At the end of the film, Jono is left pondering whether they can afford the investment - and indeed whether they can afford not to invest. 

Well yesterday we witnessed the inauguration of Jono's new milking parlour!  It was wonderful to see it all up and working! We had seen various stages of its construction and posted a few pictures in a previous news item. 

The cows went through like a dream. Jono had a got them used to the new system all by a few 'dry runs'. 

We raised a glass of bubbly afterwards!  So here's to many more days, years and many more litres of Cropthorne Farm milk! 

                                                                      A very happy Jono Rogers with his new parlour.

                                                                   The parlour accommodates 8 cows down each side.

                                                        Jono and his father, Steve, with one of Jono's 'reds' in the foreground.

A reminder: The Oxford Real Farming Conference will be screening Tune for the Blood

2012-12-26 00:00:00

The new year will be opening for us in Oxford.  'Tune for the Bloood' will be screened at Oxford Real Farming Conference' on Thursday, January 3rd at 5pm in (where else) Oxford at the Turle Street Kitchens.  There will be many interesting sessions all day on Thursday and on Friday the 4th.  Looking forward to new ideas, great debates and lots of interesting conversations.

Ross-on-Wye Screening - great Q&A

2012-11-21 00:00:00

Ross-on-Wye screening on Friday November 16 - wonderful, lively Q&A

Jono Rogers and Richard Thomas took to the stage last Friday night and along with the director, Anne Cottringer, fielded questions about Tune for the Blood and the realities of being of a young farmer today.  As usual it became more than a Q&A, turning into a discussion of some of the important recent issues: BovineTB, which this month has meant that on Richard's farm they lost 15 of their pedigree Hereford herd, the pasture to profit scheme which Jono Rogers is involved with, the European CAP reform, milk prices, the importance of local markets and the role that Young Farmers Clubs play in providing a skills for rural youth.  It was a thoughtful, informed engagement on both sides.

The Q&A sessions after the screening of the Tune for the Blood have proved very successful, providing an opportunity for dialogue between the young farming community and a wider audience. There are not very many places that non-farmers can meet and engage with farmers and these Tune for the Blood Q&A sessions seemed to providing a unique experience where this can happen.

Thanks Simon Cropper and all Ross-on-Wye who participated.

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