Agricultural News Round Up – 28/07/17

Sheep Shearers Are Cutting Time Off Records and Police Use Future-Tech To Track Criminals

As we hurtle straight on through Summer, the agricultural county shows in the UK are all coming in to full swing. We’ve been keeping an eye on the noteworthy winners and have cherry picked some of our favourites to share with you, along with a couple of other note worthy news stories that have been making the headlines in the trade papers this week.

Police Tracking Devices Hamper Farm Thefts

Many farmers reading this will no doubt be aware of the rise in rural crime that is currently sweeping through the country. Rural areas were one considered safe zones, in terms of incidents that were reported on a daily basis. Folks living in the country once felt free to leave their doors unlocked and wouldn’t think twice of leaving their keys in the ignition if they were popping into a shop for 15 minutes. With the recent spate of farm yard thefts and break-ins, however, these farmers are taking more precautions to protect their land and their goods.

With the help of the Police, land owners in Warwickshire are fitting their high-value equipment with advanced tracking devices that have already been utilised to recover three vehicles and arrest three individuals. The publicising of these tracking devices are proving to be enough to deter would-be criminals already, with crime figures already dropping since the introduction of the tech in March.

The NFU have made a statement, suggesting that farmers should no longer be see as a ‘soft target’ to thieves.

Kiwi Farmer Keeps Record Breaking Shearing In Family

Farming is famously a family tradition, with generations of children lining up to pick up the farm work from their parents, once they’re ready to retire that is. As young boys and girls grow up on their farms, they pick up valuable skills that they will end up refining and practicing for the rest of their lives. By the time these kids are fully grown, their decades old skills are quite formidable, so it’s only natural that competitions and rivalries should arise.

One such rivalry exists between two sheep farmers from New Zealand, who have both been setting World Records for their lightning-fast sheep shearing skills. Back in July of last year, Matt Smith, a farmer and writer for Farmers Weekly no less, set the family off to a flying start by setting the World Record for the most sheep shorn in a 12 hours period. The Kiwi farmer smashed the record of 721 set in 2007 by fellow countryman Rodney Sutton by 10 extra sheep.

This year, his brother Rowland (who works at Trefranck Farm in Cornwall) followed in his footsteps by shearing an incredible 644 sheep in a 10 hour period, successfully shearing each sheep in less than 47 seconds.

12-Year Old Samara is Pig Showing Champ

Although the world of animal showing is by no means reserved strictly for adults, it’s nevertheless an area that is rarely graced by young people. Young Samara Radcliffe, who lives just outside Banbridge in County Down, has been bucking the trend by cleaning up at Agricultural Shows for the last 6 years. The proud owner of four saddleback pigs, she doesn’t come from a farming family and had to plead with her parents to buy her her first pigs.

This year Samara has picked up numerous awards, most recently taking home Best Young Handler and Show Champion at the Castlewellan Show.

Despite admitting to being bullied at certain times in her life, her resilience and perseverance suggests that a bright future lies ahead of her in the world of Agriculture.