Friday, 27 February 2009

Never in doubt!

We've just had our Farm Assurance Audit - a necessary process if we want to sell milk. It briefly covers

Hygiene and Food Safety
Plant and Equipment
Feedstuffs and Water
Herd Health
Stockmanship and Training
Contingency Procedures
There were no "non-compliances" so thanks to Henry and James who have made sure that everything from the parlour and dairy to the stock itself was in order (and supported by the correct paperwork).
If ever you are tempted to buy foreign food, ask yourself "Are their standards are good as ours?" Traceability and total transparency might seem a lot of fuss sometimes, but it means British food is the safest in the world.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Is this fame at last?

Henry and I have just got back from mingling with the stars (well, meeting one star). We've been to the preview of The Pentalk Archive Exhibition at Rheged, which was opened by John Craven (star of Newsround, Swap Shop or Countryfile depending how old you are). Over the last couple of years the Pentalk network has been gathering together photographs depicting the farming year and from tomorrow (until 22nd April) you can see 100 of them at Rheged. Among those 100 are 4 you may recognise. It's free to enter, and there's loads more to do at Rheged, but catalogues cost £2. So if you want to be mean and just see the photos, here they are. But they look much better at a high resolution, printed and mounted professionally.
There are photographs taken in all weathers and of a wide range of farming (and farming families) activities. But looking at them, ours all seem to have a few things in common that distinguish them from the others .
They're all taken on a sunny day
They all show the Robinson family
We all look as though we're enjoying ourselves
And they nearly all include cows!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Watch out, he's back!

After a year off The Molecatcher is back. Only 2 so far, but if you're thinking of tunnelling under our meadows and pushing heaps of soil into the grass, beware!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Lock up your gates!

If someone offers you a too-good-to-be-true deal on some gates - stop and ask where they came from. During the night of 19th/20th eight large metal gates were stolen from our fields. These were off our access over the National Grid easement that runs alongside the road. They are not cheap lightweight temporary gates, but heavy 12 foot field gates - not the sort of thing to be picked up and taken away on the spur of the moment.

So if you're driving along the B6254 watch out for pickups or trailers parked in suspicious places and let us or the police know.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Homeward Bound

James and the calves have just left Stoneleigh for the journey home. It's been a long weekend for all of them, rewarded with a third, two fourths and a fifth in strong classes. I gather that calves who behaved impeccably at shows last summer played up a bit away from home. The Strickley herd was also well represented by Shaun Dixon's calf "Strickley Geri 15th, that though the youngest exhibit, took the Reserve Breed Championship. Perhaps we should never have sold it . . . .

Friday, 13 February 2009

First Trip Out

We usually don't start our Show Season until June/July, but this year James has taken a trailer load of Strickley stock to the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show at the Royal Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh. The event - click here for more details - has a day of Showmanship classes (handling) and then a day of Breed Classes. The handling is for under 25's only, so James will (just!) be preparing the calves and then handing them over to a keen young handler.

More information as the weekend progresses, but Good Luck to James and (in no particular order)

Athena 3
Annabella 140
Goldie 192
Lady Serene 5
Pansy 5

Monday, 9 February 2009

Contrary to popular belief . . . . .

. . . . . we did have some snow last week. It may have come and gone in one day, but looked suitably wintery while it lasted.

PS - thanks to Donna for the photographs

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Happy Birthday!

February may be cold and a long way from summer, but it's a month of celebrations here.
Elliot - 11
Robert - 5
Henry & Arthur - 61