joshuafmetcalfe

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

In Agricultural, farming, getting started on September 20, 2012 at 9:17 am

My return to university looms large. This weekend I move back to Leicester, back to the city centre and away from all the open space, peace and quiet, fresh air and Farms. I’m excited to return to study and enjoy my final year, even if it is of no real use to what I want to do. I need to find a Farm around the city that will let me volunteer for them, any suggestions are most welcome.

The Badger Cull seems to have literally hit the fan this week, all I read on twitter is of arguments between Farmers and animal rights activists. I don’t believe culling is ideal, but it seems that something must be done soon. I read online that the RSPCA have called for a boycott of all dairy products from farms that support/allow the cull to go ahead on their land. They argue that Farmers should be made to feel the ‘Commercial consequences’ of allowing Badgers to be shot on their land. The RSPCA doesn’t seem to realise that if these Farmers submit to the RSPCA’s boycott then they will inevitably feel the ‘Commercial consequences’ when their entire herd has to be culled because they all contracted bTB from pasture contaminated with Badger urine. I hope the powers that be make the correct decision that benefits Farmers and Badgers alike. The country side is all ours to share, regardless of species.

If anything is worth all Brian May’s hard work it is the honey bee, without which all arable production would suffer. I propose a hug-a-bee day, I propose urban hives on top of high rise apartment and office buildings, I propose it be made compulsory for all tenant Farmers renting from local council to keep honey bees in some number. They are invaluable and must be nursed back from the brink of extinction.

As a topic of relevance; getting young people into farming has become a hot topic. Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has called for more help for new entrants from the Government and from DEFRA. The man is a saint. 60 000 new entrants must be found within ten years, it is good to see that people are making it a priority.

One thing I admit I haven’t considered about becoming a Farmer is how dangerous it is. According to Government statistics it is the most dangerous workplace environment. This becomes more than a statistic when you read of the tragedies that strike all over the world. ‘Young Rugby player & Farmer killed in horrific silage accident ‘. One lung full of the noxious gasses produced in slurry towers is enough to render a person immediately unconscious and can even result in asphyxiation and death, an awful way to go. Thoughts go out to their family, theirs and the many other people killed in accidents with machinery and animals. This does nothing to deter me from my dream though; the rewards of farming far outweigh the risks. My drive is as strong as ever.

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  1. Not a silage tower, a slurry tower – different things, silage towers are v old school in GB & not really in use. have a look at http://bit.ly/REEhMt for more details about the incident. 10/10 for trying tho – need more folk interested in farming

  2. Hi Joshua, just found your blog through James Whithers, very interesting, and in a sense very reminiscent of my own experience. I’m a 45 year old hill sheep and cattle farmer, born in the city, and struggled to get a start in farming. I’d be very interested in having a chat with you sometime. If you want to talk to me please call 07809220336, and I will phone you right back( save your student pennies) . If not, no worries, I’ll continue to enjoy your blog,
    Regards

    Jim Fairlie

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