James Drummond - Optimising Ewe Performance for a Productive Sheep Enterprise and a High Quality Finished Lamb
I am based in Northumberland 5 miles from the market town of Alnwick, the third generation of a family run upland farm which predominantly produces fat lambs for slaughter and store cattle. We also have a few pigs and laying hens as well as some turkeys for the Christmas market. Apart from the suckler herd of spring and autumn born Limousin cross cattle the main farm enterprise is our ewe flock with 1200 breeding ewes making up our cross breeding system, consisting of North Country Cheviots, Half Breds and Cross Suffolk ewes as well as a pedigree Texel flock producing rams for use on our commercial flock. The enterprise also uses Aberfield, Border Leicester and Suffolk tups in the breeding system and Charollais tups for our ewe lambs. The farm produces arable crops for our own use and various forage crops for finishing livestock.
I studied Three Dimensional Design at Loughborough University and was awarded a place on the Leonardo di Vinci programme after I finished my studies and spent 9 months working for a Czech Architectural company. As much as I enjoyed living in Prague spending most of the working week stuck in a studio I soon wanted to return to farming. I moved to New Zealand to work for an agricultural contractor near Hamilton for the grass and maize season before returning to the farm to take over from our shepherd who was retiring that year.
I am extremely grateful to my sponsors Alan and Anne Beckett for the tremendous opportunity they have given me to participate on a Nuffield Farming Scholarship.