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

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Mark St Valentine's with a difference! Our February gathering, Wednesday, February 14, is also the annual meeting (7.30pm) at the Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall NR12 7DN when our current chairman Jonathan Deane has announced his intention to stand down.
All members are most welcome to join the chairman and speaker for supper and a drink before the meeting from about 6pm. Our theme - "Meeting farming's pesticides challenges" - is topical given the concerns/ legal restrictions about crop protection products - emerging from Defra and also from Europe.
Please let me know if you'd like to support the chairman by Monday, February 12, 9.30am, at the latest. Supper costs £20, including a welcome drink.
Dr Lynn Dicks, of the University of East Anglia's School of Biological Sciences, will discuss how farmers must adapt their approach to using many-long familiar pesticides. She will outline how practical commercial approaches can benefit and the broader environment - and the bottom line. She has worked with organisers managing the environment including government, the charitable sector and the food and farming industry. Her work is focused on inspect pollinator conservation.
Let the secretary know by Monday, February 10 by 9.30am at the latest - email or 01603 486997.
Entry added: 04 Feb 2018
Up for a sporting challenge?
Bowls and ten-pin
This takes place on Friday, February 23 at Rossi's, North Walsham, against Holt Farmers' Club and we need to find two teams, each of 18 players, for bowls and 10-pin. We gather at 4pm for a 4.30pm prompt start. It includes play and a three-course supper - for an inclusive £20 - the price has been pegged for four years! To date, I've four bowlers (another 14 needed) and nine 10-pinners (nine more needed). It would greatly assist if players could let me know - email michaelbpollitt@btinternet or telephone 01603 486997.
Entry added: 04 Feb 2018
And bookings for the annual dinner.
Annual dinner and presentation of awards and trophies - Wednesday, March 14 - 7pm for 7.30pm.
We welcome our speaker on Wednesday, March 14 Norfolk's police and crime commissioner Lorne Green, who was elected almost two years ago, to present the awards and trophies at the Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall.
Tickets cost £40 per head - and payment, in advance please, may be cheque - payable to Stalham Farmers' Club, The secretary Michael Pollitt, 60 Chamberlin Road, Norwich NR3 3LY or direct to our bankers. All bookings will be acknowledged and must be made by Monday, March 12 (9.30am) at the absolute latest, please.
Finally - trophy winners from last year's dinner must arrange for cups to be returned to the secretary - at the next meeting for the engraving of the 2017 winners to take place.
Entry added: 04 Feb 2018
Lively presentation - Guest speaker Emily Norton, who returned to the family's farm at Frettenham in 2007, spoke of her plans for her 2018 Nuffield scholarship including visits to South Korea and Japan later this year. Fresh from taking part in a debate at the Oxford Farming Conference last Thursday, she spoke with great confidence and optimism about the future challenges for the farming industry to feed the nation. Farmers, she said, had to listen to their customers and respond with a positive message. She provoked plenty of lively questions from across the floor and was thanked by solicitor Sarah Ellero for a bright and stimulating start to the year. She was presented with a copy of Alec Douet's definitive history of Norfolk Agriculture from 1914 to 1984 by the chairman. See club report for more details.
Entry added: 11 Jan 2018
Warm welcome at supper - Dan Brown, chairman of North Walsham Young Farmers' Club, and 16 fellow members were our guests for a welcome drink and supper along with the evening's speaker and 2018 Nuffield scholar, Emily Norton. The club's chairman, Jonathan Deane, was delighted that so many YFC members had accepted our invitation to supper and was also pleased that a number attended the meeting too. This link with the YFC has become a successful annual tradition. And next year, it is hoped that members of Acle YFC might also join the throng. And there was a warm welcome too for husband-and-wife, Julia and Joe Almey, who were proposed as members by James Taylor.
Entry added: 11 Jan 2018
Surprise for volunteer. The club's secretary, Michael Pollitt, was delighted to be nominated as a regional finalist in the volunteer of the year awards by the Churches Conservation Trust. For the past three years, he has worked with fellow volunteers to open St John Maddermarket Church, Norwich, to visitors. And since April last year, a record total of 5,300 people visited the medieval church, which is one of about 350 across the country maintained by the trust. The winners of the award will be announced on Friday, January 26 in London.
Entry added: 11 Jan 2018
Happy New Year
And to start 2018, our first meeting will be a presentation by Norfolk's latest Nuffield scholar, Emily Norton, on Wednesday, January 10.
She returned to the family's farm in 2007 - having graduated in law from Cambridge - and will outline her thoughts on the theme: "Turning problems into opportunities on the the 21st-century family farm.”
All are welcome to the two-course supper beforehand. The club is again inviting members of neighbouring young farmers' clubs as our guests to join the chairman, Jonathan Deane, at the meal at the Norfolk Mead Hotel, from 6pm.
Supper will be served about 6.25pm and costs £20, including a welcome drink. Please let the secretary know by 10am on Monday, January 8 at the very latest if you'd like to join the or telephone 01603 486997. We have to book the meal in advance, hence the need for a speedy reply.
Emily and Norton's Dairy at Frettenham have been winners on the national stage including a finalist of the 2018 Farmers Weekly mixed farmer of the year
and won the Food and Drink Supplier Award in last year's Aylsham Agricultural Show Association's annual awards.
After some brief formal business at 7.30pm, Emily will be speaking.
Apologies, also to the secretary - and if you're updating your 2018 diary, please note the following
Wednesday, February 14 - AGM and talk by Dr Lynn Dicks, of the UEA.
Wednesday, March 14 - Annual dinner and presentation of prizes.
And don't forget the annual bowls/ ten-pin bowls against Holt on Friday, February 23, starting from 4pm - followed by a meal
Entry added: 05 Jan 2018
Yeasts could create high-value products from farm wastes.
A national collection of yeasts at Norwich Research Park has the potential to create new and high-value natural chemicals from farm wastes.
Prof Keith Waldron, of the Quadram Institute Bioscience, told members of Stalham Farmers’ Club that research into the 4,000-strong collection had already identified some valuable products. And now it was possible to analyse 1ml samples with automated and robotic techniques to gain more understanding of the potential of certain yeast strains.
Amazingly, some yeast strains could yield very significant volumes of natural high-value chemicals, which was arousing commercial interest, said Prof Waldron.
There were at least 10,000 different strains throughout the world but the Norwich collection held most of the brewing and baking yeasts.
He had spent more than 20 years looking at how an estimated 3.9m tonnes of farm waste could be turned into more valuable products. For example, spent brewers’ grains – usually fed to livestock – had produced natural foaming products. And onion peelings had produced a natural thickening agent for the food industry but sadly this initiative had proved more popular with European manufacturers than at home.
And another long-term project, which had begun in 2004, has produced a highly-effective natural growing medium for the horticultural sector replacing peat. The outcome was a far-better growing medium than peat – and curiously it smelled like “Christmas Cake.”
The challenging of dealing with food waste/ farm by products was global. And solutions could help to reduce the impact on global warming and climate change – and it was as big an issue in the emerging economies such as China and the Indian sub-continent as Europe and north America , he suggested.
Prof Waldron, who was co-director of a national initiative, the foodwastenetwork, had brought together about 500 people from across industry to tackle the challenge. With £200,000 funding, it was working with 18 specialist groups to identify challenges and opportunities. Details,
He was thanked by vice-chairman, Henry Alston, and presented with a silk club tie by the chairman, Jonathan Deane.
Entry added: 18 Dec 2017
The latest minutes from the meeting on the 13.12.17 are now available under the tab on the left.
Entry added: 15 Dec 2017
Adding value to farm crops is next topic for club’s winter programme.
A leading researcher into maximising potential value from food chain products, Prof Keith Waldron will update members on Wednesday, December 13.
He started a research programme at the Institute of Food Research (becoming the Quadram Institute from 2018) almost 20 years ago. It led to the development of the Biorefinery Centre – closely linked to the National Collection of Yeast Cultures.
Prof Waldron, who lists his hobbies as flying, photography and cycling (slowly), will talking about some of the exciting opportunities for farmers and growers.
And please support our chairman, Jonathan Deane, at the supper beforehand at the Norfolk Mead Hotel. The two-course meal costs £20 and all members are most welcome to join him from about 6pm. Supper is served about 6.25pm and the meeting begins at 7.30pm.
Supper must be booked in advance by Monday, December 11 (by 10am) at the latest – let Jonathan know by email - or ring him.

Future diary dates

Wednesday,January 10 – Nuffield scholar and dairy farmer Emily Norton. Members of local YFCs have been invited to supper as our guests.
Wednesday,February 14 – Dr Lynn Dicks, of the UEA’s School of Biological Sciences.
Wednesday,March 14 – Annual dinner and presentation of trophies.
Entry added: 23 Nov 2017
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