Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Runaway Sheep, Carmarthen Journal & West Wales Farmer

It is said never work with children or animals, I will qualify that by saying never work with sheep!
We are due to start lambing the next few weeks and so the Farmer has begun bringing the ewes in at night. This resulted in a ridiculous drama two evenings ago. I was preparing supper when I was called outside with a sense of urgency. The sheep had taken the wrong turn coming out of the field and instead of heading down the drive to the yard they went up the drive towards the road. The main road is about 1/4 mile away and by the time the Farmer & I had failed to jump start the farm jeep (!!!), and then transferred ourselves and the collie into another vehicle the sheep were well on their way to the main road. When we caught up with them they had gone the best part of a mile up the main road. Fortunately there was very little traffic at that point and we were able to get round the flock in the car and turn their heads homewards. The next problem was that our junction is at a cross-roads...which way would the sheep go and would the Farmer be able to get to the cross-roads by a circular route around the block before the sheep got there? I, meanwhile had been left to follow the flock on foot back down the road and contend with the sudden stream of traffic that appeared from nowhere. The driver of a very large lorry had the wit to stop in the middle of the road to prevent cars overtaking him and running into the sheep (although there is always one idiot who thinks he can squeeze past lorries & sheep!)and I managed to keep the sheep moving past the cars that had stopped. There was also queue of traffic behind me & the drivers were incredibly patient. I was beginning to worry that there was no one to direct the sheep back onto our lane & that they would head on down into the village when the Farmer appeared at the last moment with his dog. The sheep turned right as required and everything was okay. A neighbour who was in the queue of vehicles behind me kindly gave me a lift back to the farm as the Farmer had sped off to make sure everything was as it should back on the yard. The sheep were none the worse for their adventure though being heavy in lamb they were puffing a bit, as I may say was I!

Yesterday the Farmer & I went to a buffet lunch at Gelli Aur, the home of Coleg Sir Gar, the county's agricultural college, for the launch of a new monthly farming supplement to our local paper the Carmarthen Journal.
I, or rather we, have been asked to contribute a monthly column to this new publication 'West Wales Farmer' much along the lines of this blog, which I am looking forward to doing.
The Carmarthen Journal is the oldest newspaper in Wales having been founded in 1810 and it circulation covers Carmarthenshire & parts of Ceredigion & Pembrokeshire. The editor, Emma Bryant, has seen that in this deeply rural area there is a need for a specialist supplement for farmers featuring industry news, local advertising of agricultural services,and articles about farming life in all it variety & we are very pleased to be part this new initiative.
The West Wales Farmer was given a good launch with a speech by Rebecca Evans AM Deputy Minister of Farming & Food. Jonathon Edwards MP was also present as were representatives from the local farming community, the FUW, NFU & Coleg Sir Gar.

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