News | Stalham Farmers' Club | Leading speakers from the agricultural industry.

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Stalham Farmers' crop competition entries, please
In one of the most exceptionally challenging harvests for some years, it is planned to hold the club's annual competitions - for potatoes, sugar beet and cereals.

As potato crops are advancing rapidly, it is the intention to judge this competition as soon as possible in early to mid-August. Judging of the sugar beet competition should follow in September, rain permitting.
And early risers may have heard Andrew Blenkiron, of the Euston estate, talking about the challenging of irrigating crops of onions, carrots and potatoes on BBC Radio 4 Farming Today (5.45am, Tuesday, July 26). He told Anna Hill that the estate's 80m gallon reservoir on the Suffolk/ Norfolk border was now empty. The larger, 100m gallon reservoir, had less than 15m gallons remaining, he added.

As growers struggle to keep crops - especially potatoes going in this hot, dry weather, it seems sensible to aim to judge this competition sooner rather than later.
Accordingly, if entries could be submitted by August 1, then an attempt will be made to judge as soon as practically possible.

Please could you let me have a location of the field - crop area, variety (and date planted) and indication of likely market would be helpful. Also, it would greatly assist to find the right crop if the field entrance could be identified. There's no charge for entering. I'll confirm your entry on receipt.
If you'd like further details, please contact me - 01603 486997 or email michaelbpollitt@btinternet.com.

Also, please retain samples of barley - and of course, wheat for entry in the cereal competitions. Maybe the new Mayor of Stalham might be invited to view the winning grain samples too - given that the town council has now voted to have its first Mayor in its 1000-year plus history!

Entry added: 26 Jul 2022
Last-minute invitation to visit Shropshire's fenland enterprises

On Thursday, June 23, there is an opportunity to join the visit to Shropshire's fenland enterprises. Holt & District Farmers' Club has organised the trip and hired a coach. There are some vacancies and a further eight or nine would help to defray the overall cost. It includes lunch and the aim is to pick up from Holt at 8.30am or about 9am on the A148 - to spend a full morning and afternoon looking at the specialist vegetable, mushroom and other aspects of the business. If anyone would like to join the party, please let me know as soon as possible. Obviously, there will be a cost, which should be pretty reasonable. The plan is to return to Holt by about 6pm.
Contact Michael Pollitt - 01603 486997 or email - michaelbpollitt@btinternet.com
Entry added: 10 Jun 2022
Sunshine for annual farm walk.
More than 100 members of East Norfolk NFU and Stalham Farmers' Club enjoyed the generous hospitality of the Clabon family after a tour of the extensive arable business. Bob Clabon, branch chairman, welcomed the visitors to Rookery Farm, North Walsham. And the mood was definitely upbeat as a really good rain the previous day had transformed crops and the countryside looked incredibly green. Fortunately, the sunshine arrived, which was appreciated by the visitors. Thanks to the farmers providing the trailers - Simon Daniels, Tim Papworth, Joe Mitchell and Richard Hirst, who incidentally gave the vote of thanks. The Clabon family provided the hog roast, which was doubly welcome as the sun went down, and the NFU and Stalham Farmers stood the drinks. Full report of the visit the Minutes and Reports tab on the left.
Entry added: 10 Jun 2022
Join the Club's Annual Farm Walk: -

Bob Clabon, who is also chairman of East Norfolk NFU branch, has kindly invited fellow members and Stalham members to tour the family's farm on Tuesday, June 7 - arrive 5.30pm for 6pm departure. Please reply to the NFU office - email to northwalsham@nfumutual.co.uk or telephone the NFU Group Office 01692 402929 with names of those wishing to attend, no later than 1st June. Meet at: Rookery Farm, North Walsham, Norfolk, NR28 0RF. Directions: Take the B1145 out of North Walsham sign posted towards Mundesley. Look for a left hand turning just past the Quaker Meeting House and before a bridge.
Entry added: 25 May 2022
Caroline Drummond - an inspirational leader and speaker
A great farming advocate, Caroline Drummond, has died aged 58, after a short illness.
As chief executive of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming” she had been a formidable and driving force in the transformation of the agricultural industry in the past three decades.
She spoke to members of Stalham Farmers’ Club, alongside David Jones, of the Morley Agricultural Foundation, in November 2015.
She delighted (and also challenged) her audience with a summary of the challenges facing the industry. Awarded the MBE in 2009, she had joined the fledgling organisation, LEAF, in 1991 from Shuttleworth (Agricultural) College, where she had been an agronomy lecturer and forklift truck driver instructor.
Under her enthusiastic leadership, LEAF became a major force and launched a series of high profile initiatives to promote the industry including Open Farm Sunday.
Despite coming from a non-farming background, she went to Seale Hayne Agricultural College. Later, a Nuffield scholar, she was a founding member of the European Initiative for the Sustainable Development of Agriculture and chaired the 2005 Oxford Farming Conference Council.
When she joined LEAF, then chaired by Norfolk farmer and broadcaster David Richardson, it was for an initial three-year project. In the following years, LEAF became the driving force in sustainable farming. He told Anna Hill of BBC Radio 4’s Farming programme (Wednesday, May 25) of her massive contribution to the industry.
In her 2015 talk to Stalham Farmers, before heading home to Cornwall, where her husband Phil ran a dairy farm, she highlighted the core values of sustainability – through demonstration farms and our LEAF innovation centres.
Other initiatives included the LEAF sustainability farming review – and some of our management tools such as soils and water.
In her opening address, she said that the charity, launched at the Royal Show in 1991, now had a total annual income of about £1m and 14 staff, including many part-timers. The core aims and objectives had not really changed over the years but the launch of Open Farm Sunday in 2006 had really raised the charity’s profile.
“Our vision is very much that the world is farming, eating and living sustainably. Our mission is to inspire and enable people to do that through prosperous agriculture, through good environment and community engagement. Those are the core values of sustainability,” she said. And it was exciting too that Defra has named 2016 as British Food and Farming Year – also coinciding with LEAF’s silver jubilee.
It had also developed its “Marque” of quality assurance over the past 15 years. “About 25pc of UK fruit and vegetables is now LEAF Marque accredited,” she added.
In the 10th Open Farm Sunday event, it attracted 291,000 visitors to 389 farms, involving 10,000 helpers. Amazingly, 25pc of visitors had never been on a farm before. And in terms of attendance, 18pc of OFS events had less than 100 visitors, 19pc over 1,000 and 21pc over 3,000 visitors.
“We’ve now extended OFS to include Open Farm Schools Day. The whole of June is now Open Farm Schools’ Day,” she said.
Farmers have a great story to tell. “We’ve got modern technology, we use it wisely, we use it safely, and we’re highly professional as an industry,” said added.
Entry added: 25 May 2022
Bob Clabon, who is also chairman of East Norfolk NFU branch, has kindly invited fellow members and Stalham members to tour the family's farm on Tuesday, June 7 - arrive 5.30pm for 6pm departure.
Please reply to the NFU office - email to northwalsham@nfumutual.co.uk or telephone the NFU Group Office 01692 402929 with names of those wishing to attend, no later than 1st June.
The farm walk will be taking place on Tuesday 7th June, please arrive at 5:30pm for a strict 6pm departure.
Meeting at: Rookery Farm, North Walsham, Norfolk, NR28 0RF.
Directions: Take the B1145 out of North Walsham sign posted towards Mundesley.
Look for a left hand turning just past the Quaker Meeting House and before a bridge.
NFU Directional signs will be in place.
Entry added: 19 May 2022
Supreme champion barley grower - Champion beet grower Alan Beck won Norfolk’s top malting barley title to add to the family’s haul of silverware at Stalham Farmers’ Club’s annual dinner.
His sample of Flagon malting barley was judged top of the crops in the annual competition against friendly rivals, Holt & District Farmers’ Club.
Bob King, commercial director of the Crisp Malting Group, had cast his eye over another Flagon sample grown by Ed Jones, of Harold Jones Farms, Little Witchingham, which had won Holt’s barley championship.
It was the first time that Mr Beck, of Brunstead, and his son, Geoffrey, had won the club’s barley trophy, which was first presented in 1937.
The Beck family, which has farmed at Brunstead since 1919, also won the Cantley Cup for highest overall yield in the latest beet campaign. C N Beck & Sons produced 1.5 tonnes per hectare more than the club’s retiring president Thomas Love, of Walcott Farms. The club’s new chairman, William Sands, of HBS Farms, finished a very close third, also with a yield of more than 100 tonnes per hectare.
In the competition for best beet crop, Robert Cook, of Ingham, retained the trophy for the third year in a row. The Beck family was runner-up and Tim Papworth, of LF Papworth, of Felmingham, was third.
Former Norfolk NFU chairman Thomas Love won the club’s potato cup with a crop of Innovator grown at Brunstead.
Former North Norfolk MP Sir Norman Lamb, who was the guest speaker and proposed the toast to Agriculture and Stalham Farmers’ Club, presented the potato trophy to Mr Love’s son William.
There was success too – for the club’s new president, George Gay, who finished third in the barley competition with a sample of Laureate. He won the supreme inter-club barley trophy three years ago with a sample of the same variety.
Last year, the result was a tie because Edward de Feyter entered the same sample for Stalham as his father Graham had for Holt.
The annual dinner, which was the first to be held since 2019 when the then North Norfolk MP Sir Norman had been invited to address the club, was attended by more than 70 members and guests at North Walsham Rugby Club, Scottow. The club also welcomed as guests, Holt’s chairman, Pat Cubitt and the president, Richard Brooks.
Sir Norman highlighted the growing concerns and lengthy delays in access to mental health treatment and counselling for young people, especially for a record number of teenagers and children. Since he had launched Norfolk’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, more than £350,000 had been raised and initial grants of some £75,000 had just been made to help local groups.
Will Sands, chairman, thanked Sir Norman for speaking and presenting the awards. He was given a Stalham tie and a copy of Alec Douet’s book, “Breaking New Ground,”, a history of Norfolk Agriculture 1914 to 1984.
Entry added: 07 Apr 2022
2021 Competition results
Potato Cup: 1 Walcott Farms; 2 LF Papworth; 3 Robin Baines.
Sugar beet – whole crop: 1 Robert Cook; 2 CN Beck & Sons; 3 LF Papworth. Cantley Cup: 1 CN Beck & Sons; 2 Walcott Farms; 3 HBS Farms.
Two-acre – The competition was not judged in 2020 or 2021, partly because of Covid 19 lockdown issues. The trophy was presented to Will Sands, of HBS Farm, which won the award in 2019.
Supreme inter-club barley champion – CN Beck & Sons; reserve, Ed Jones, of Harold Jones Farms, Little Witchingham.
Barley: 1 CN Beck & Sons (Flagon); 2 Milligen McLeod (Maris Otter); 3 Mautby Farms (Laureate). Wheat: 1 Milligen McLeod (Gleam); 2 and 3 LF Papworth (Skyscraper).
Entry added: 07 Apr 2022
Special award - A special presentation of the E H Wenn President’s Cup was made by the retiring chairman Chris Borrett to Thomas Love in recognition of his many years of support for the club.
He had stood at last month’s annual meeting after completing his three-year term as president.
The trophy was last awarded in 2018 having been re-represented to the club by Jennifer Grier.
Other winners have included the late Frank Read in 2012, Ken Leggett, Tim Papworth, potato judge Denis Walsh in 2015 and Stuart Marsh in 2018.
Entry added: 07 Apr 2022
New honorary vice-presidents – Retiring chairman Chris Borrett told about 70 members and guests at the annual dinner that three new honorary vice-presidents had been elected at the recent annual meeting. His announcement that Christopher Deane, Thomas Love and Tim Papworth had been appointed was warmly applauded.
All three had given generously of their time to support the club over many years. They join the current honorary vice-presidents, Jonathan Deane, Ken Leggett MBE and Michael Pollitt.
Entry added: 07 Apr 2022
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