2015 started full of hope and interest as I managed to get away to the Oxford Real Farming Conference. I did a couple of sessions on duty at the Pasture Fed Livestock Association information desk and enjoyed meeting good numbers of interested farmers and members of the public. The PFLA seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment.
The conference was addressed by leading speakers from all over the world, with subjects covered from soil management to poverty. There was plenty of time set aside for socialising too, with a first rate dinner at the Town Hall. It was especially good to meet Carrie Balkom, executive director of the American Grassfed Association; she has been an inspiration to the emerging PFLA, as well as being an open source of information on their development which has done so much to fast track our growth.
Meantime back on the farm it has been very windy and wet (ie a typical January). Our bull has been diagnosed with Johnes Disease which is a blow as it is practically incurable in cattle. He is isolated and will be culled in due course. We will have to keep a very close eye on the remainder of our herd to make sure there are no other cases brewing. Careful management is the key to removing the risk of spread.
Looking forward, we have the big climate change conference in Paris in December, which I intend (rashly) to cycle to… so I had better start training! We are also seeking to progress our Beaver project here on the farm – more to follow on that.
We have had a break from visiting groups but next moth we shall be seeing Warwick University Engineers Without Borders, and George Salter Academy Art Course. The evenings are already visibly lighter now.