Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you have been farming?We are fourth generation farmers. We’ve been at Cracrop Farm for about 10 years now and before this we were down farming near Bradford. The farm is family run, it’s myself, my Mum, Dad, Sister and at times Grandad, we all muck in and have our jobs. We get started on the farm pretty much as soon as we can walk!
What does a day in your life look like?Every day is different. Most days start around 7am, we head out to do the feeds and do the rounds, checking on the sheep and cows. Then from there it’s just whatever jobs need doing, depending on the seasons. Our winters are usually taken up with sheep sales, then come spring we are busy shearing the sheep for wool and lambing, there’s always something happening. Our days typically finish at roughly 7pm.
How has farming changed across generations?The biggest difference for us would be the ability to use ride on vehicles to travel around the farm and round up the sheep. We have a sheep dog assisting us, but without the bike we would never be able to cover the ground we do on foot. Advances in breeding sheep such as scanning the pregnant sheep allow us to provide the best possible care we can when we have a better understanding of their needs to care for them accordingly.
What is your favourite time of year on the farm?Spring time when we start lambing time. Everything is happening and we are busy. The sun is shining again and there is a buzz and excitement in the air as we start to bring new life into the world. In general seeing all the seasons changing on the farm year in year out never gets old.
Tell us more about your sheep? Do you have a favourite? (We won’t tell the others!)We have about 1200 sheep in total, they are a mix of Texel and Texel cross. They all have personalities, some are inquisitive and others are more shy. Working with them from the moment they are born means you really get to know the sheep and all their quirks.
Ruth: I have to say I do have a soft spot for a ewe I named Nose, due to the distinctive pattern she has on her nose. She was one of triplets but didn’t take to her mother and or any surrogate mothers. So I hand reared her and she was brought up on a bottle. She’ll still feed from my hand and knows me when I’m in the field. I know her as well and can recognise her bleat in the flock. I know I probably shouldn’t get attached to any of our sheep. But I couldn’t help it. She’s a little bit special!
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