Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Half term at the farm

It's half term week in Cambridgeshire and today I took a large group of school children to my neighbouring farm. James, the farmer, is exhausted - he is right in the middle of lambing. The farm is really all arable these days, his flock of 84 ewes is less than half what it was a couple of years ago and I can't begin to count how many times he has told me that he's going to give up the sheep for good.

2007 was a dreadful year for livestock farmers. Foot and mouth and blue tongue worries on top of pitiful prices, escalating feed prices etc etc. James even took over the local butchers shop to try to secure a market for his produce. The pride and devotion that I saw in his eyes as we discussed last night's new arrivals makes me think he won't give up yet. Many others have already been forced to.

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