Committee Meeting 20.11.14 | Stalham Farmers' Club | Leading speakers from the agricultural industry.

Summary of Stalham Farmers’ Club committee meeting

Dairy Barns, Hickling.                          Thursday, November 20

Present – Neil Jordan, chairman, opened the meeting at 7.35pm. Luke Paterson, vice-chairman; Alan Beck, Roger Beck, Jason Cantrill, Christopher Deane, Jonathan Deane, William Donald, Peter Gardiner, Alison Ritchie, Sally Stanton, Nigel Wright. Secretary/treasurer, Michael Pollitt. 

1. Apologies – Ken Leggett, Alastair Ross, Neal Sands.

2. Future presidential term of office – there was broad agreement with Jason Cantrill’s suggestion for a five-year term of office.

A proposal for a new president will be made at the annual meeting in February.

A proposal to adopt a two-year term for the chairman from 2016 was adopted following Peter Gardiner’s comments. Members could serve a second term as chairman, it was stressed.

3. Future meetings

The club would again invite members of Acle and North Walsham YFCs as guests to supper to the January 14 meeting, when Sam Steggles, would be talking about his goats’ cheese enterprise. Some discussion followed and it was agreed that committee members would sit at each round table.

Bowls – The annual match would take on Friday, February 20 at Rossi’s. The format, including 10-pin, which had been introduced, would be repeated. William Donald to confirm date with Holt Farmers. Luke Paterson and Rob Norman to assist with recruiting bowlers. Cost like to be circa £20, including meal.

4. Annual dinner – Members to be invited to contribute £10 at the table – with the speaker, Ed Parker, to toss “heads/tails” for a generous prize – for Walking for the Wounded.

5. Clay shot – annual match on hold for 2015. Discussion with Holt to consider revival in 2016 or stage informal event for club members/ guests/ partners.

Michael Pollitt to canvas opinion from Holt.

6. Ties – A new silk tie, in three colours, had been ordered with a new enlarged design of a Stalham hoe. With a cost price for 150 of £12.35 each, it was agreed to charge £20. Delivery has been promised for December, and hopefully by the next meeting.

7. Summer Programme

The social outing proposal would be repeated in mid to late May. One garden in north Norfolk has been suggested and Michael Pollitt would make arrangements.

Farm walk – An invitation by the president-elect of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, Robert Carter, to visit Letheringsett and nearby Bayfield, would be followed up. Michael Pollitt to write to Mr Carter seeking a date in June if possible.

Jonathan Deane suggested that another North Norfolk farmer had offered to host members.

8. A Ghost Walk in Norwich in mid to late October – to include guide and meal, starting from the Adam & Eve – would be investigate. Michael Pollitt to make arrangements.

9. Winter Programme – speakers

Jonathan Deane suggested that Robert Ferguson, son of long—standing member Murray should be invited to talk about his special holiday tours notably in the Himalayas.

Other topics proposed included specialist vegetable growers, Produce World for example. A number of speakers from the John Innes Centre were also suggested including Dr Rachel Wells, who had given an impressive summary at the RNAA’s recent Agri-Tech seminar.

A wide-ranging discussion suggested a number of other potential speakers but it was agreed to invite a “younger speaker” for the YFC meeting in January 2016.

A visit or a speaker from Aspinall’s, the Suffolk cider maker, was suggested by Christopher Deane.

10. Speakers for the 2016 dinner – A number of names were suggested in a lengthy discussion. Michael Pollitt to investigate and report.

11. Possible arrangements for 2016/2017 – the 175th anniversary years. Committee members to suggest a range of ideas for funding-raising events by the year end. Suggestions to the secretary

There was broad agreement that a target of circa £100 per member to raise £17,500 was feasible. A barn dance etc was also mentioned. Also a new 175th tie design in assorted colours was another.

12. A club attendance book, which has been obtained, will be circulated. Members asked to keep email etc address data to date. Also a texting reminder to be investigated before meetings.

Meeting times – A proposal for a 7.30pm start was also agreed for next season, suggested by Luke Paterson.

It was also agreed to invite the new president to take the chair and start the annual meeting.

Jonathan Deane , with Neil Jordan and Michael Pollitt, to look at a range of possible alternative venues for meetings/ annual dinner or possible social activities in future years.

The chairman closed proceedings at 9.50pm.

Future meeting – Thursday, January 22. Committee members to confirm attendance with the secretary in advance to assist the caterer.