October 19th 2012
The Lincolnshire Poacher Competition organised by Lincolnshire County Foods took place on Tuesday this week and today we learned that our butchers shop, Meridian Meats Family Butchers Ltd. in Louth, won Champion in the Bacon Class and a total of 6 GOLD Awards, 9 SILVER Awards and 5 BRONZE Awards. Click here to see how Meridian Meats did amongst all the Award Winners. Congratulations to Jim and all the Team in Louth!
10th October 2012
Tetford Rosalind and Tetford Rose, the two heifers that we sold in August, have been running with Tetford Q Guild since mid August so Ian Beckett was booked to come today and scan them along with with some other cows, to check if they are in calf. If they are they can go to their new home. Ian arrived on schedule at 2 o'clock and as I had the cows penned up ready he was able to get straight to work without delay. Everything he scanned was successfully in calf, Rosalind 1.5 months and Rose 40 days so I have made arrangements to deliver them tomorow and moved them into a pen in a shed at the yard for easy loading in the morning.
24th September 2012
Having been away in the South West of the country during the week of 17th September it was good to see things through 'new eyes' when going around the stock after returning at the weekend. On the whole they all looked better than I remembered! The young bulls in the yard are really getting quite fit now. We used the last of 2011 made silage this weekend and have had to start the new crop which has been met with enthusiasm as can be seen in the photograph on the left! Out in the fields grass is certainly pretty static and the calves are getting through large quantities of creep feed now, especially the older ones up at Worlaby. We shall be weaning the majority of the calves born before the end of March soon so I shall have to erect a catching pen around the creeps soon so that they get used to being surrounded with cattle hurdles when they go in to feed. This should make it a reasonably easy task to catch them up and bring them home to the yard at Tetford for the winter. This worked well last year except that having brought two trailer loads of calves back and settled them in to their accommodation they made a break for freedom during the hours of darkness over the feed troughs hanging on the outside of the sheeted gates. By the following morning the shed was empty! Half the escapees were down the lane in the Church yard and the other half were scattered around the locality. Fortuneately they didn't take too much rounding up. Previous occupants had been much larger so were unable to exit through the gap. The the problem was soon solved with the addition of a bar to reduce the space above the troughs! I don't expect a repeat of that particular problem this year but I am sure there will be something new to test our patience when the time comes!
28th - 31st August 2012 Mucking out.
We finally got around to tackling the mucking out this week! The foul weather this week has put a stop to harvesting so Tim Lamyman at Worlaby was able to spare a tractor, trailer with driver Sue to cart to the rape stubble at Worlaby ready for spreading. This was a terrific help and meant that I was able to concentrate on loading and had time whilst the tractor was away to clear out the corners and scrape around in an effort to keep things reasonably tidy so that it didn't look too much as though a bomb had gone off at the end! I had already cleaned out the shed we keep the young bulls in earlier in the year but this had been piled up on top of the bedding in the shed vacated by the cows in April because the land was too wet to cart onto at the time so we had a full winter's worth of muck to shift this week. We lost count of the number of loads but certainly between 25 and 30 plus a few loads I had done earlier in the month - at that count there must be around 500 tons ready to spread as it was all well rotted and for the most part quite wet and heavy. On Friday morning Sue, in charge of the tractor, came back after what seemed to be somewhat longer than normal to say that after struggling up Tetford Hill in bottom gear the trailer wouln't tip so she had had to call for assistance to get some of the load out before the hydraulics would tip the rest of the load out! I reduced the load size a bit after that and we finished about four o'clock. All that remains now is to steam clean the gates, barriers and feeders etc. and wash down so things have time to dry out before the cattle come back in from the pastures in November. A very useful three days, not before time but a job well done all the same!
21st August 2012 Baling barley straw.
There was a heavy shower of rain around midday yesterday so nothing got baled but today has stayed fine although rather overcast. There is a light breeze so the trails have soon dried up on the hillside at Worlaby. John Benge set in soon after one o'clock and was well into the first field when I popped up around two thirty. There is much more straw this year, which is a relief having been somewhat short of straw last winter. We will have to see how it goes but at the moment I am quietly confident we shall be in a more comfortable position that we were this time last year! The bales will be left out on the stubble and fetched as we use them during the winter. They keep better lying individually with the wind around them to dry them off and having them on the field provides good cover for the pheasants and partridges during the shooting season.
20th August 2012 Foot Trimming and Nose Rings.
I had haltered Sovereign and Samson in readiness for having their feet trimmed this morning so when Ian McNee arrived soon after 10 o'clock he was able to get straight on with the job. Samson was the first to be done and was soon looking much improved with his long toes removed and the soles of his hooves disced off nice and level. Both bulls were lovely and quiet during their time in the crush and look vastly better. With their copper nose rings fitted before being released from the crush they really have taken on a more "grown-up" proper bull like appearance! Quarryman was in need of a bit of a tidy up and was waiting at the other end of the yard in the catching pen adjoining the field and paddock. In his usual mischeavous way he had found an unopened 100kg. Energy Tub and having removed the polythene cover had rubbed his head in the sticky molasses top! His face has taken on a rich golden hue and he will no doubt be more than a little attractive to a whole host of flying insects! Feet trimmed he is back out with his cows again.
Having had a small accident with one of the cables to our electronic weigh platform the week before last I shall have to wait for its safe return from Victor Loverdale at Pharmweigh before Sovereign and Samson can have their official weight check which is required for their registration. I am hoping we can get that done later in the week so all the papers can be sent off to Debbie Dann at the Longhorn Society office together with some hairs pulled from each of their tails for DNA recording.
17th August 2012
Tetford Rose co-operated first thing this morning allowing herself to be haltered with the help of a bucket of food and walked quietly, though somewhat reluctantly to begin with, down the lane on a halter to join Q Guild, Rosalind and four other cows with their calves. At 4 o'clock this afternoon they all seemsed very laid back and contented as is evident in the photo on the right!
16th August 2012
On Wednesday we had sold two heifers for breeding with the agreement that they would run with our bull Tetford Q Guild so the vet was called in the morning to blood test one of them,Tetford Rosalind, for BVD, Leptospirosis, Johnes and IBR. Tetford Rose, the second heifer, had received a clean bill of health in June but I decided that it would be a good opportunity to blood test the two young bulls, Tetford Sovereign and Tetford Samson, at the same time and to give them their inspection which is a requirement for registration with the Longhorn Cattle Society. Katherine, our vet, arrived around 2 o'clock together with a student who assisted with the blood sampling before the bulls were checked to confirm that they have no visible genetic defects and that they are considered of suitable conformation for pedigree breeding. Eyes, teeth and jaw alignment, legs and feet were checked and found to be normal and correct. Their testicles were also checked and scotal circumference measurements were taken for each bull. I then walked each bull around the yard on their halters and into the crush where they had blood samples taken before rejoining the six other bulls in their group. Katherine and her assistant washed and disinfected their boots and leggings and left me to lead Rosalind down the lane and into the field to join Q Guild. Rose who is grazing with some other heifers in the field behind the yard will be caught in the morning and transferred over to join Q Guild.
I also telephoned Ian McNee who foot trims our cattle and booked him to come on Monday morning with his roll-over crush to trim the two young bull's feet and also to tidy up Quarryman's feet while he is here. It will also be the ideal time to pop the young one's nose rings in when they are restrained on their sides in the crush.
30th July 2012
Heckington Show yesterday was the last show of the season for us so Salix, Syringa and Quarryman had the coat dressings washed out this morning before being turned out to grass. Before this could be done some cows and heifers had to be switched around so Quarryman could run with Tetford Fluellen and Tetford Jade. They had calved at the beginning of July so should be ready for the bull any day now. Quarryman soon made friends with Fluellen and had settled down to enjoy the sunshine by the middle of the afternoon. It was a lovely day and so I spent some time up at our summer grazing at Worlaby, a mile or so from our yard to the north of the Bluestone Heath road, where Linton David is running with sixteen cows and calves. It was interesting to spend some time to see how the calves have come on as all too often it is a quick dash around just to make sure everyone is well without really taking in their progress! All the cattle look well at the moment and there seem to be some very promising youngsters up there. These calves are either by Linton David or Tetford Q Guild who is a David son out of Tetford Honey. Hopefully we shall have some good stock for sale in the spring next year. I suppose a lot will depend on what sort of a winter we have this year so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it's not too cold and wet because although all the cattle come in for the winter it can still be pretty unpleasant. Our buildings are deliberately very open and airy which is good but the down side is that rain and especially snow does blow in which makes their bedding wet. With any luck the cattle will be able to stay out until early November when the weather usually turns. Our fields are in the bottom of a valley here in the Lincolnshire Wolds and it is lined with clay deposited in the last ice age so pastures soon become poached if the cattle remain out at that time of year which then means there is no grass in the spring when we want to turn out again!
29th July 2012 Heckington Show
Heckington Show, the largest village show in England, took place over the weekend of 28th & 29th July.
Tetford Jedi, Tetford Quarryman, Tetford Salix and Tetford Syringa were all entered for the Longhorn Classes to be judged on Sunday 29th July by Lynda Burditt.
I took Quarryman and Salix in the late afternoon on Saturday, settled them into the cattle marquee for the night and returned home to catch Jedi, who was still out with some cows, so he would be in the yard ready to be washed early on Sunday morning. That done we set of at around 7am, arriving at the showground at eight o'clock with the sun already beating down and the crowds thronging through the gates in anticipation of another great day at Heckington.
Debbie arrived soon after nine o'clock to help with the final preparations for the judging that was due to begin at ten and to lead Jedi in the first class to be judged. As we had the two bulls entered we had enlisted the help of a couple of friends from the Lincoln Reds, due to be judged after the Longhorn classes were over, so we had a follower behind each bull. Many thanks for helping out Pat and Mick, much appreciated. The class, with 5 bulls forward, was won by Rachael Heard's bull Treverton Jethro with Tetford Quarryman in 2nd place and Tetford Jedi in 3rd place. As we did not have entries in either the Cow class or the Senior Heifers this gave time for final touches to the 2 Junior Heifers. Four animals were forward for judging and Mick kindly led Salix for us in this class. Our 2 were the youngest in the class by about 3 months and Syringa was placed 3rd with Salix 4th but then went on to take 1st place in the Pairs with Judge Lynda Burditt commenting on what a fine matched pair they made. Barlings Greta, from Gill Thomas at Barlings, was chosen as Female Champion with Treverton Kitkat Reserve Champion. Lynda Burditt went on to award Breed Champion to Treverton Jethro and having chosen the bull as Champion called for Tetford Quarryman, the Reserve Male Champion to come back into the ring. He was then awarded Reserve Breed Champion.
So it was Rachael's turn at the Bar this year! Everyone enjoyed a Winner's Drink with her, followed by one on the Reserve and then one on the Female Champion as well! Back to the cattle lines, some great ham rolls and pork pie (courtesy of Meridian Meats of course!) and then after a couple of quick rain showers out onto the Grand Parade.
Heckington Show continues to go from strength to strength and all credit must go to Show Chairman Charles Pinchbeck with his faithful team of volunteers who must work tirelessly for weeks to ensure a great day out for everyone who attends. Apparently there were over 30,000 through the gates on Sunday alone - fantastic!
Soon after 4 o'clock I left with Jedi and Salix for the 35 miles or so trip home. The second load was made up of Quarryman, Syringa and the 2 Champion Lincoln Longwool Butcher's Lambs from M. Robinson's Yaddlethorpe Flock. This well supported class was judged by Jim with the winner receiving the Meridian Cup together with £50.00 prize money sponsored by Meridian Meats. We purchased the winning pair for the shop so they will go to the abattoir together with some of our own hogget lambs on Thursday to be on sale week commencing the 13th August.
With the fattening cattle in the yard fed there was just time to wash the coat dressing off Jedi before turning him back out with his cows around 8.30. Pizza and salad for tea, the rest of the "Team" will get rinsed off and turned out in the morning!
Click here for the full results for the Longhorn classes.
Click here for Meridian Meats Facebook page with more about the Meridian Cup.
18th July 2012 New home for 4 yearling heifers.
Four of the five yearling heifers featured on the Cattle for Sale page have been sold so arrangements had been made for the new owners to take delivery today. First thing in the morning the four were brought in from the paddock near the yard where they had been grazing and given a wash and brush up ready for their journey to Upper Hulme near Leek in Staffordshire. With the show cattle and finishing stock fed and checked and the heifers loaded I set off at just after 10 o'clock and picked up Paul Ashcroft from Barlings near Lincoln on the way. Paul and his wife Sarah keep rare breed pigs, some of which go though our shop in Louth. Paul assists with Sarah's mum's Longhorn herd, attending lots of shows during the season as well as doing lots of the routine jobs throughout the year.
Debbie had set the satnav in the truck with the post code of our destination and it seemed as though she must have selected "quaintest route" as we went down little roads and through some really pretty countryside and villages on our way! We had a bit of a job finding the final turn off to the farm but a quick phone call brought Anne and brother John Wain to the end of their lane to guide us to their yard. We unloaded the four into a big airy building next to some of their pedigree Limousins. The heifers had travelled on halters so Paul took hold of them as I led them into the shed until he had hold of three whilst I led the final one off the trailer. Since time had not allowed for a visit to view the cattle at Tetford the agreement I had made with Anne was that if they were not happy with any, or all, of the heifers I would take them home so now was the time to ask if we should remove the halters or load them back on the trailer! There was no hesitation from the Wains in telling us to unhalter them. That done we were invited into the big stone farmhouse for mugs of tea, ham rolls and spongecake, baked by Anne, with lemon curd filling! Just to add to the jolity of the occasion the Police arrived to check the shot guns and firearms with Paul kindly pointing out that I was possibly not the ideal person to have around during a Police visit! Nice to know who your friends are!
So Sparkle, Sienna, Sapphire and Sabine have a splendid new home along with the pedigree Lims and around 2000 breeding ewes. Our thanks to Anne and John Wain and their parents for the great hospitality and lots of luck with the heifers. Unfortuneately brother number two was away from the farm so I look forward to meeting him another day. The Wains intend to breed the Longhorns pure and expect to be using AI next spring when the four are ready for bulling. I am delighted that they have become members of the Longhorn Society with the herd prefix Swainsmoor.
Although Paul reset the satnav to "quickest route" I can honestly say that I didn't notice any difference from the way we had come in the morning!
10th July 2012 The Great Yorkshire Show
I arrived at the Showground around 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoon just behind Richard Coulson with the cattle in his wagon. All the vehicle parks and show rings were very wet and waterlogged in many places but with the sun shining things didn't look too bad! Supper in the Traveller's Rest with fellow Longhorn breeders was fun but the walk back to the showground was wet and muddy as it had started raining again!
Taking a moment to check the inside of my eyelids in the Travellers Rest - Great Yorkshire Show 2012. (Photo: Emma Heseltine)
Monday was spent washing the cattle and swapping jokes and stories with friends, rounded off with a giant picnic in the cattle lines. Tuesday morning was dull and misty and having washed and dried the team the time seemed to drag waiting for the Ayreshires to finish to make way for the Longhorns but Debbie, Charlotte and Garry arrived so we went for a great breakfast in the Holsteins and then set about final preparations for the start of showing which was expected around 11.30.
The ring didn't look too bad, but Ayreshire are faily light compared to Longhorn bulls! A couple of laps around the ring with the Senior Bulls sooned started to change things and the going can only be described as "heavy"! First place went to Parc Grace Dieue Tinhorn, a four year old bull from Frank Sutton of Raglan. Clive Roads placed three year old Tetford Quarryman second and Tetford Jedi third. Jedi found the going particulary difficult as his extra weight was making him sink faster and deeper than his son!
Tetford Quarryman 2nd placed Senior Bull Great Yorkshire Show 2012
Tetford Jedi 3rd placed Senior Bull Great Yorkshire Show 2012
Peter Close kindly led Tetford Syringa in the Junior Heifer class while I took Tetford Salix. There were 10 heifers forward for judging and Clive Roads placed Syringa fourth and Salix seventh which I felt was very satisfactory and very fair. As Peter had a pair in the Pair of Animals by the Same Sire Class Steve Gray was kind enough to take Syringa and with Salix, who were both sired by our bull Linton David, we took second place.
Click here for the full results for the Longhorn classes.
Click here for some more photos of the judging on flickr.
Ring 10 after the Longhorn judging Great Yorkshire Show 2012.
With the judging over and there not being enough time before the Interbreed judging for our Breed Champion, Peter Close who had won with Fishwick Lord of the Rings, to buy his fellow competitors a drink Debbie, Charlotte, Garry and I dashed off to the Food Hall for some tasters! While we in there the heavens opened. Water was running everywhere in rivers turning all the grass alleyways around the showground to sludge. Interbreed judging was quickly reorganised on the concrete roadway between the livestock buildings and once that was over Peter was in the chair at the bar! It was then that we learnt that the rest of the Show had been cancelled. Group classes and Junior Interbreeds would be run on the concrete roadways in the morning, but the Show was closed to the public and we would be leaving in the afternoon. Nothing anybody could have done, nobody's fault and a case of realy giant bad luck for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the Trade Exhibitors and all the competitors. Words cannot describe the disappointment felt by everyone involved but for what it's worth all I can say is that all the GYS Staff and Stewards were, as usual, terrific under the circumstances - there really was no need for you all to apologise for the situation, it was hardly your fault and everyone did more than their best to carry on in impossible conditions. Everyone understands and we will all be back next year - that is if you'll have us!
The Tetford Team relaxing in the cattle lines at the Great Yorkshire Show 2012.
We left the showground around 4pm on Wednesday, getting home around 6.30pm Quarryman and the two heifers were fed and put in their pens in the yard for the night but Jedi who had come out of the field of cows on Sunday morning before we left had nowhere ready for him to spend the night so was turned straight back out with his cows and calves.
Tetford Jedi enjoys the sunshine back home from the Great Yorkshire on Thursday morning 12th July.
7th July 2012
Making final preparations to the Show Team before Richard Coulson arrives with the wagon tomorrow to take the cattle to the Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate. We shall be taking the same team as we had at the Lincolnshire Show on 20th and 21st June. Tetford Jedi was the oldest in all the Cattle Classes at the Yorkshire last year, so chances are that he will be again this year! He looks well despite having turned 10 in February, he's out with some cows and will have to come in this afternoon. Tetford Quarryman, Tetford Salix and Syringa are all looking fairly fit, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that Clive Roads from Worcestershire who will be judging on Tuesday thinks so to! I am leaving about the same time as the wagon so I can get to the showground ahead of them and bed out the stalls in readyness for their arrival. Debbie will be leaving Tetford very early on Tuesday morning and will pick up daughter Charlotte and partner Garry from Horncastle so that the two girls can take charge of Jedi in the Senior Bull Class whilst I show Quarryman. I hope to have the four cattle all washed and ready before they arrive so all they need to do is put their white coats on! We are due in Ring 10 after the Ayreshires who commence at 9am, so it's likely to be late morning before we start. I will put an update on after I get back from the show on Thursday evening, in the meantime results are usually available online on the show website fairly quickly during the show.
20th & 21st June 2012 The Lincolnshire Show
The 128th Lincolnshire Show took place on Wednesday and Thursday 20th and 21st June. We attended with 4 cattle to be judged by Giles Green from Leicestershire.
Despite having "retired" our senior stock bull, ten year old Tetford Jedi, from showing at the end of last season he somehow found himself back at the Lincolnshire Showground again on Tuesday evening! With him were his 3 year old son Tetford Quarryman and a pair of 2011 born junior heifers, Tetford Salix and Tetford Syringa.
The first class to be judged was the Senior Bull class with 4 bulls forward. Jedi was placed second and Quarryman third. After judging the class for Junior Bulls Giles Green chose the first placed senior bull, four year old Blackbrook Sabre, as his Male Champion with Tetford Jedi as Reserve Male Champion.
As we didn't have entries in either the Cow Class or the Senior Heifer Class there was a bit of an interlude for us until the Junior Heifer class. Although 9 cattle were entered it was disappointing that only our two and one other were forward to be judged. Blackbrook Verity took top spot with Tetford Syringa in second place and Tetford Salix third. Verity was born at the beginning of February 2011 whilst Salix was born at the very end of March and Syringa at the beginning of April, so we were giving away two months to the winner. Very pleasing results for their first outing, just a shame there weren't more cattle in the ring on the day.
Blackbrook Utopia, winner of the Senior Heifer Class, was picked as Female Champion, with Barlings Greta, winner of the Cow Class, from Gill Thomas
in the Reserve spot.
With all the classes judged and Male and Female Champion and their Reserves chosen all that remained was for Giles Green to award the Supreme Champion and Reserve Supreme Champion. He chose the Male Champion over the Female Champion as his Supreme Champion and then asked for Tetford Jedi, as Reserve Male Champion, to parade alongside the Female Champion before picking his Reserve Supreme. We were absolutely delighted when he put Jedi as Reserve Supreme Champion, a clear indication of how close the placings in the original Senior Bull Class had been.
A very satisfactory and enjoyable start to the 2012 Show Season for the Tetford Herd!
Tetford Jedi, Reserve Supreme Champion at Lincolnshire Show 2012.
Tetford Jedi, Syringa, Salix and Quarryman in the cattle lines at the Lincolnshire Show 2012.
Click here for the full results for the Longhorn Classes.
Click here for a video montage of the 2012 Lincolnshire Show (sorry no Longhorns featured!)
Click here for the full Beef Cattle Results on Lincolnshire Show website.
The cattle were not the only ones from Tetford at the Lincolnshire Show as Jim and Odile accompanied by Eric Phipps had the Meridian Meats stand in the Tastes of Lincolnshire Food Court selling Lincolnshire Stuffed Chine rolls, Beef Rib rolls, Pork Pies and lots of other tasty specialities. Wednesday being a wonderful sunny day went well but Thursday was, well, different.....
Day 2 at the Lincolnshire Show 2012 as seen from Meridian Meats Stand!
Meridian Meats homemade Lincolnshire Stuffed Chine & Roast Ribs of Beef ready to fill the rolls!
Odile puts on a brave face on day 2 at the Lincolnshire Show 2012.
Lots of lovely Meridian Meats pies at the Lincolnshire Show 2012.
Click here for Meridian Meats Facebook page to watch a short video of the rain!
June 16th 2012 Silage making.
Silage making has been less than easy this year with the awful wet weather so far during June however John Benge, our faithful contractor, took full advantage of the few dry spells and the last bale was wrapped on Friday 15th and on Saturday morning Garry and Mark Skrimshaw and myself began carting the final bales back to the yard. This proved to be somewhat more stressful than usual but all is now gathered in and safely stacked at Tetford. As can be seen in the photos below we think we may have got the aerodynamics a little wrong this year with possibly too much down thrust on the rear!!
Well, where did 2011 go?
When things are busy on the farm there never seems time to write anything and when there is time there isn't much to say! It seems impossible that a whole year went by without a single entry in the Farm Diary but we will try and fill in some gaps as soon as we can!
August promises to be another busy month, straw for winter bedding and feed has to be baled as quickly as possible after the barley and wheat has been combined. There are lots of jobs to do around the yard and farm. I still have to finish mucking out the cow's winter quarters ready for when they have to come in again some time in November. That seems a long way away now but it will come around all too quickly as usual!
On Friday 13th and Saturday 14th August the Longhorn Cattle Society Show and Sale at Stoneleigh takes place. We have not got anything entered for this sale but I am hoping to go for the sale on Saturday to keep in touch with how things go and will no doubt meet up with plenty of friends there. Keith Mason has entered Tetford Monarch in the sale as he has his daughters in the herd now so needs a new bull. We do have a couple of 2009 born heifers for sale at the farm, one by Jedi and one by Linton David. Click here to go to our Cattle for Sale page for full details. We also have some very promising young bulls by Jedi and David which I expect to register in the next few weeks.
July 25th 2010
Gill Thomas took delivery of her new young bull Tetford Quartermaster today. He is by Linton David out of Tetford Keepsake and will be a year old on 24th August. He joins Gill's Barlings Herd near Lincoln to become stock bull when he is old enough and big enough. He's been on a halter a couple of times here since viewed on Thursday last week and has had two washes but Paul will have more work to do to him once he has settled in to his new home. He weighed 467kgs today so his 400 day weight should be a little over 530kgs when he is registered.
July 25th 2010 Heckington Show.
Heckington Show, the largest village show in England, took place over the weekend of 24th & 25th July.
We had Tetford Jedi and Tetford Quiescience entered in the Longhorn Classes to be judged by Richard Warner from Markfield, Leicestershire.
An early start was called for and we left home at 7am having washed both the cattle ready for the show. Having unloaded, fed and settled the cattle there was time for a bacon roll and a cuppa before brushing them up and putting on the leather show halters for the classes which started at 10 o'clock.
The first class was for Bulls of any age and Jedi was at the front of the field of 6 bulls as he was the eldest there. Richard Warner called him in 1st ahead of Richard Burton's young bull Riverlands Joskin. We were able to relax for a couple of classes until the class for Junior Heifers, born in 2009, were called out. Quiescience, the youngest in the class of 6, was placed a very satisfactory 3rd.
Jedi won the Male Championship and then took Breed Champion ahead of Riverlands Joskin in Reserve spot. Click here for the full show results.
Heckington Show is a wonderful day out, it could teach a lot of the big county shows a thing or two about providing what the visitors want! It is entirely organised and run by volunteers headed by show Chairman Charles Pinchbeck. They all deserve many congratulations for their efforts, every year is better than the last and I never cease to wonder what they will come up with next time, but I have no doubt that this time next year Heckington 2011 will have surpassed this year's show by some way or other!
13th - 15th July 2010 The Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate.
Tetford Jedi, Tetford Quarryman and Tetford Quiescence relax at the Great Yorkshire
On Sunday 11th July our show team left Tetford in Richard Coulson's wagon on their journey to the Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate. We had three stalls booked for our three entries - our senior stock bull 8 year old Tetford Jedi, Tetford Quarryman a yearling son of Jedi and Tetford Quiescence a yearling daughter of Jedi. We spent Monday settling in, cleaning halter brasses and working up a thirst in the swealtering heat! By Monday evening all the other exhibitors had arrived and we were able to establish that 21 Longhorns would be forward for the competitions on Tuesday. Thirsts were suitably quenched in a good pre-show atmosphere during Monday evening!
On Tuesday the Longhorn classes followed another breed in the ring so we did not get started until after midday. Jedi was placed second in the Senior Bull Class whilst Quarryman, who was the youngest bull in his strong class of 4 was third. Quiescence was placed third in another strong class of 7 Junior Heifers which was particularly pleasing as she was second youngest in the class, giving away 3 and 4 months to some of the other entries. We rounded off by coming second with Quarryman and Quiescence in the class for pairs sired by the same sire, a total of 6 pairs were forward in that class. Click here for the full Longhorn show results.
The following day, Wednesday, Jedi was picked for the Longhorn Team of 4 to represent the breed in the Interbreed Competitions and then on Thursday morning he was chosen for the Housewife's Choice competition - a light hearted competition with teams of 3 judged by housewives picked from the crowd which created much good humour and laughter with some teams in fancy dress. We had our own spot of fun in the cattle sheds with a pair of wellies and a boiler suit stuffed with straw as can be seen in the photo below!
With early starts and late nights being quite usual as the cattle must be looked after, washed, fed, watered and bedded it can be a tiring time but as always at the Great Yorkshire we managed to find time to have great fun in great company with plenty of new jokes and stories being shared over good food and drink during the four days at Harrogate. Our wagon left at around 6pm, arriving home at 9.30pm, the cattle were unloaded and settled for the night before turning in ourselves in readiness for returning to a normal routine on Friday.
Silage making. As and when time and weather permit throughout June and July 2010.
June and July are busy months on the farm as silage in wrapped bales has to be made and transported to the yard for stacking ready for the winter months when the cattle come in from the fields. The recent dry spell has reduced yields by between 30 and 50 percent however we are still hopeful that with some carry-over from last year we shall have enough! Now that Jim is so busy in our shop at Louth the mowing, baling and wrapping has to be done by our super efficient contractor, John Benge with his state of the art modern tackle whilst I load, transport, unload and stack in the yard. John takes some keeping up with but so far he hasn't got too far ahead!
Loading wrapped silage bales to the trailer for transport back to Tetford.
Loaded and ready for the trip back to the yard at Tetford.
Placing bale into the silage stack ready for winter feeding.
3rd & 4th July 2010 Longhorn Cattle Society Beef Production Workshop.
On Saturday and Sunday the 3rd and 4th of July we hosted a Beef Production Workshop for the Longhorn Cattle Society. On Saturday Martin Brown the MD of L. Brown & Son (Wholesale Butchers) Ltd. who operate at the City Abbatoir in Lincoln kindly demonstrated on a live animal where all the various cuts were to be found and showed us what they look for when selecting cattle for their business. Members asked Martin lots of questions before we moved on to see the cattle in the yards being finished for our shop in Louth.
Martin Brown answers questions at the Beef Production Workshop with help from Tetford Jedi!
At this stage Charles Sutcliffe showed members how cattle were finished at Tetford and explained that no one system would suit everyone but that the one they were viewing worked well at Tetford. Martin Brown had pre-judged a pen of 5 young bulls and members were able to put their knowledge and skill to the test by placing the animals on the basis of "the best animal for the butcher's needs on the day". Charles then led out Tetford Quarryman, a young bull of just under 400 days in age, for members to estimate his weight. Once everyone had completed their judging cards and had written in their weight estimates the cards were gathered by Debbie Dann, our Breed Secetary, and Quarryman was weighed. 503 kilos was the result.
As the results were to be announced during the evening at the Newmarket Inn in Louth we quickly toured most of the cattle out in the fields around the farm and at nearby Worlaby where a group of spring calving cows with stock bull Linton David are grazing.
Cows and calves at Worlaby.
To be continued...!
Jim begins breaking down the side of Longhorn beef on the Sunday morning.
Boned and rolled brisket of Longhorn ready for the counter.
23rd & 24th June 2010 The Lincolnshire Show
The 126th Lincolnshire Show took place on Wednesday and Thursday the 23rd and 24th June where we had 3 animals competing in the Longhorn classes, judged by Steve Gray from Herefordshire. It was the first show we have attended this season.
Both days were sweltering, temperatures in the mid 20s with bright sunshine. The Breed Classes were judged on Wednesday, followed by the Interbreed Classes on Thursday morning.
The first of our classes was for Bulls born before 1st January 2009 with 3 entries forward. Our entry Tetford Jedi, born in February 2002, was the oldest Longhorn entry forward in the class and in fact the oldest Longhorn at the show. Jedi was placed 1st, ahead of Dunstall Genesis a 2006 born bull from Mrs. E.M. Hallifield in 2nd place and Overdale Iceman born in 2008 from J.A. Warner in 3rd place. In the next class for bulls born in 2009 we had the youngest animal forward at the show, Tetford Quarryman a son of Tetford Felspar by Tetford Jedi, and he was placed 3rd out of 5 animals forward. We were delighted with this as he was only one year and thirteen days old and had only been registered the week before the show! The Male Championship was held after the Junior Bull class, before judging the female classes, and Jedi was chosen as Male Champion. Our third entry was Tetford Quiescence, a daughter of Tetford Fritillary again by Tetford Jedi, in the class for 2009 born heifers. She was placed 4th out of 9 animals forward, again a result we were very pleased with for her first outing.
Wednesday's proceedings were concluded with judging for the Breed and Reserve Breed Champions and judge Steve Gray picked Tetford Jedi as his Breed Champion with Dunstall Harriet, a 2007 born cow, from Mrs. E.M. Hallifield taking the Reserve spot.
Tetford Jedi Longhorn Breed Champion at Lincolnshire Show 2010
Tetford Jedi having taken Breed Champion for the Longhorns was forward for the Supreme Beef Breeds Championship, judged on Thursday morning by all the breed judges on a points system. Having received some very complementary comments from a number of the judges during their deliberations we were elated to come out as Native Breeds Interbreed Champion, ahead of both the Lincoln Reds and Aberdeen Angus champions!
Click here for the full Longhorn show results.