Members gathered at the farm of F C Osborne and Son near Stourbridge on 5th February for the first Society event of 2022, where topics to be discussed were the NBDC Type Classification service in the morning, and regenerative agriculture in the afternoon.
After an introduction to the day given by Martin Osborne and sons James and William, the morning session comprised a farm walk to view the family's Woodfield herd of British White and crossbred cattle, accompanied by NBDC Classifier Mike Deakins, who explained the linear assessment processes of the NBDC Type Classification Scheme for both females in milk and bulls over 24 months of age.
It was a pleasure to see such a consistent and well-maintained herd of suckler cows alongside a particularly impressive crop of bulling heifers, pure and crossbred youngstock and weaned pedigree bull calves, all by senior stock sire Castleton Hector who was on display for the classification demo. New junior stock bull Castleton Iolo was also given the once-over for comparison, and it was useful for members to be able to see how the introduction of the classification service could be applied to their herds, with a great deal of productive discussion generated about how the scheme will be used.
Next on the agenda was to break for a fantastic lunch spread kindly put on by the family in one of the grain stores, and for breeders to catch up after what for most had been quite some time away from our regular programme of meetings and events.
Our next speaker was David Allison, Senior Agronomist with Frontier Agriculture Ltd, who began a group discussion on the regenerative farming techniques being incorporated into the system at Union Hall Farm, and the effects that those techniques may have both in the short and long term on aspects of soil health, crop yield, livestock management, environmental sustainability and farm profitability. The session provided an interesting and thought-provoking look at the past, present and future of farming methods, and in particular the important role our cattle may play in the industry going forward.
Our thanks go to the Osborne family for all of their hard work in putting on such a superb day, to the members who attended and to both Mike Deakins (NBDC) and David Allison (Frontier) for taking the time to speak with us.
KINDLY HOSTED BY F. C. OSBORNE & SON, UNION HALL FARM, KINVER