joshuafmetcalfe

Mediation in the Media?

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm

 

Impartial; a state in which one is neutral, unbiased, unprejudiced and non-discriminatory.

 

  It serves a purpose for media organisations to exercise a degree of impartiality when documenting whatever they happen to be documenting. It helps to form and maintain a wholesome, clear-cut image of the organisation and also prevents the loud minority amongst the audience who seem to relish the opportunity to be offended, and take every opportunity to feel so.

It worries me that the BBC should report on the findings of The National Academy of Sciences without presenting a balanced, reasonable article that could perhaps rationalise the situation for those who have never seen a Chicken and a Cow stand side by side. Is it really news that beef production requires 28 times the land necessary for poultry production? Considering a vast fraction of global poultry production constitutes battery farmed chickens, I think not. One need not even engage in comparison between the two animals as to do so is simply absurd: How can you compare a Cow to a Chicken in terms of discussing efficiency?

These points aside, the article has been published in the English media and is being touted as a fact of British Farming. Fair enough, it’s engaging an issue which is of huge importance to government; food security. My problem with the article lies in the fact that the British consumer is being fed an article conceived, conducted and concluded in a country 4,242 miles away from the UK. A vast country with various climates, most of which couldn’t be any further from the climate we all know and love here in the UK.

 

I do not question the importance or the credibility of the study, I question the BBC’s lack of consideration for the reputation of British Beef and the people who work hard to produce it.

 

  In stark contrast, I have enjoyed watching the new series Channel 4’s First Time Farmers a great deal. I feel it represents British Farming in a pleasant and realistic light; highlighting the immense difficulty and hard work whilst showing just how much fun can be had along the way.

I understand the reservations of many who feel the programme fails to engage with just how serious a life choice Farming is, but I urge them to remember that Farming has experienced a tough time in the media in recent years, and any media representation that engages with the public en-mass, and generates so much positive feedback should be championed by British Farmers.

Foothold

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm

In the wake of a lengthy break from writing my blog I am pleased to be able to say that much has changed.

 
 
Some broody Hens

Some broody Hens

 
Early this year we were presented with the opportunity (after months of patient brokering) to take on a stewardship of a farm only half a mile up the hill from where we lived. The Farm comes complete with land that conveniently backs onto our owned land, extensive barn with a hay loft, numerous outbuildings and half decent access routes. The Farm has been empty for a number of years and consequently required a generous amount of work both inside and out in order to bring it up to scratch. Whilst the Farmhouse is very much the domain of my Girlfriend and her mother, the outdoors has been largely left up to me to me to sort out. So far this summer I’ve been busy with a great deal of fencing and weed-spraying, a little de-forestry, repairing the outbuildings, hanging some gates and a little dry stone walling. The arrival of some orphan lambs in April gave me fresh incentive to get on with the work that needed doing. Having raised the lambs from birth it is now a lovely sight to see them enjoying the freshly restored pasture. They were turned out around four weeks ago and have enjoyed significant and consistent weight gains ever since. Typically however, the solution of one problem often leads to the formulation of another and this is it:
 
Do I keep the Lambs back for breeding, or do I finish them and use the money to invest in quality stock?
 
I’d prefer the latter, though as I feared sentimentality factors into the equation with my family, who would prefer to keep them to breed. 
IMG_1085[1]
 
All the Farm work takes place before 7am/after 5pm on a weekday or during weekend, this is because I have also undertaken an apprenticeship in Agricultural Robotic Engineering at Harry Travis (Rishworth) LTD. For the most part it entails Dairy Engineering, building/refurbishing/repairing/servicing pasteurisers, homogenisers, separators, fillers and washers but as a company we specialise in automated robotic milking systems. The work is challenging and more often than not confusing but rewarding, plus the company also trades in farming supplies which is convenient for me. 
 
What is there to come? As I’ve mentioned I’m scheming on growing my flock, but in which direction is yet to be decided. I feel I should further consider both rare-breeds and commercial breeds. Perhaps the latterr would benefit me as they are easier to market and thus will fit into my busy life a little easier. 
 
 

Back In The Saddle

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

University is over, finally. I must admit I was expecting to feel relieved at this stage, which I most defiantly do, but I feel I shall miss it sorely, particularly the people.

 

At any rate my sentimentality is quickly over-ridden by an overwhelming realization; I can finally get out about about on the farm. Getting back into the swing of things is important. My challenge now is to find somewhere that’ll take me on. In the meantime the name of the game is gaining experience. Again I feel very lucky to have the friends I have as my friend Mike (@mikefarmerscott) has agreed to put me up for a month on his dairy in Lockerbie, I intend to take him up on the offer. In other events, I’m meeting with a farmer next week (the day before I leave for Lockerbie) to have a chat about things. The farmer I am somewhat familiar with, but as for the things, I couldn’t possibly say for fear of jinxing any potential outcome.  In any event I expect a positive and enlightening experience, and am thoroughly looking forward to it. Words can’t really express the desire I have to get out and work and learn. I find myself resenting wasted time, I can no longer sit on the sofa for longer than half an hour without climbing the walls in frustration and boredom. If worse comes to worse I’ll have to get a hobby horse.

 

On another note, next week is the Great Yorkshire Show and I’ll be helping prepare some Salers for showing in the ring later this week; pressure washing, shampooing and perming. I’m also very much in-the-market for a wax jacket, so I’ll be spending an awful lot of time trawling around the show ground taking in the sights. smells and sounds. I can hardly wait. As a way of celebrating, the farmers in question throw an annual barn dance in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Calder Valley Mountain Rescue. I feel it would be a suitable excuse for finalizing celebrations in the wake of leaving university and FINALLY starting my career.

 

These next few weeks will be exciting!

 

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