October 2018

Earlier this month I attended the Farmers Weekly Awards in London, having been nominated for the Beef Farmer of the Year. This was a complete surprise and I was so thrilled for all the staff that their hard work and commitment to my business was recognised. The awards ceremony is such a prestigious event in the farming industry, and full of innovative, inspiring and progressive individuals. It was a joy to be in the company of so many incredible people and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when our farm was announced as the winner!  This is very much a team effort and I am so grateful to my staff for all their efforts – they focus on the details and show such compassion to the animals – which is reflected in our results. The title of Beef Farmer of the Year belongs to the whole team and I know it will give us all even more motivation to improve and develop the business.

As much as I enjoyed my glamorous night, it always good to get back to the day job, and I am delighted to report that we have now finished the 2018 harvest, which seems a good time to reflect on the year so far and think ahead for the winter. And what a year it has been. I don’t need to dwell on the unusual weather but that certainly has made it interesting! However, for us, yields and straw have been much better than expected. The straw harvest was also helped by the dry weather and we able to get on land without weather disruptions – a complete change from last year!

A challenging year does focus the mind and I feel more strongly than ever, that farmers like myself need to ensure they are heard in the supply chain. Getting involved and making sure our opinions are considered will ultimately mean a more robust, sustainable and profitable industry.

For this reason, last month I was honoured to accept the role as Chairman for the National Beef Association. The organisation’s role is to promote and support the UK beef industry at all levels and gives me an opportunity to engage with the Government to defend the interest of British beef farmers. Working at this level gives me a chance to put forward the views of beef farmers like myself and hopefully educate and influence future policy.

The next few months I’ll be watching the Brexit progress with interest – specifically the Agriculture Bill. We must make sure food production isn’t forgotten in this process. At the end of the day, we have a lot of people to feed and we must ensure food security is not compromised. UK farmers produce to an exceptional standard, and we need to compete on a level playing field to provide our consumers with quality food produced to a standard we have all come to expect.

November 2017

A busy start to the month with our annual help for the Louth Round Table.

We provided two tractors and trailers along with a forklift to deliver pallets and help the Louth Round Table build their bonfire for the town’s bonfire and fireworks display. Brin, Telly and Joe did a sterling job on a very wet morning which made getting to the site very interesting indeed! This is something we have helped with for the last two or three years, and its great to see lots of people from the town turn out to enjoy the colourful and safe display.

See our lovely letter of thanks below

Thank you

October 2017

Our harvest was finally gathered in after a long frustrating and not very fruitful harvest. Rain on 19 consecutive days through August, with September not much better.  The last of the straw bales were carted in ready for winter bedding,  just shy of 3 months when we started on that bright July day!! We are perhaps 25-30% down this year but should have enough for our cattle to keep them all clean and bedded.

Well done to the team for keeping tempers under control and using every dry moment day and or night to make progress when conditions allowed. Thanks too to all our understanding arable farmers for keeping faith and not putting the straw choppers into gear – there will be plenty of manure to go round.

Andrew managed to enjoy some valuable time away from the farm to recharge his batteries – enjoying a day in London at the Guild of Agricultural Journalists annual harvest lunch at Painters Hall, as a guest of his marketing agency Kendalls, and a night at the Farmers Guardian food and farming awards in Birmingham as a guest of the National Beef Association.

“It’s important to get together with other industry leaders, and helps me to see where the industry is going,” he said.  “Farming can be a very isolated job, so it’s good to hear others are facing the same issues and share concerns for the future.”


We also had an article printed in the FG

September 2017

The farm opened its gates to an open day organised by the National Beef Association, with more than 60 farmers from far and wide coming to pay Andrew and his team an early evening visit.

The tour started up on the airfield at Manby, and then moved on to the main farm unit where the cattle were inspected and great interest was shown in his handling and recording system.

Lots of questions were asked and answered, Westpoint Vets gave a brief talk covering vaccinations and AB Vista gave one on feeding.

Click here to read an article written about the open day.

On a very irritating note – Grimoldby Cricket Club had their mower stolen from a locked container over the weekend 2-3rd September. Compounded when you take into account the amount of voluntary work that gets so many local youngsters on to the cricket field – three junior teams is a great achievement for a humble village club. I hope the thiefs’ conscience is rattling – was that a pig that just flew over? (And I had just filled it up with diesel)

August 2017

Some of the first results from the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) work we are doing with AHDB are published (click here).

Also take a look at the YouTube video which shows how the cattle dance and play when the new bedding goes into the pens.

This work will help beef producers track performance and identify their business strengths and weaknesses.  AHDB Beef and Lamb is currently working with the University of Nottingham to evaluate KPIs for beef production systems and develop further ideas.

One of the most important KPIs to be monitored is daily liveweight gain.  Here we already record this, weighing an animal on arrival and on departure. At the same time we keep financial data on every animal that comes through the unit, so it becomes easy to link physical and financial parameters.

For more information click here.

July 2017

Laughtons always enjoy supporting local community work, so were delighted to help Eresby School with their Cricket Extravaganza at the start of the month.

The day was hugely successful, and raised over £700 to support school activities.  A re-match in 2018 is already planned.

We were delighted to receive a thank you letter signed by some of those involved.

We were also happy to congratulate our stockman Bill and his wife Clemmie for their new arrival Toby who was born on 26th. Quite a bruiser from all accounts. How is the nappy changing going Bill?