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

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The meeting notes for the 11th December are now available under minutes and reports on the left.
Entry added: 19 Dec 2019
Stalham Farmers Dec 2019
Floods, snakes and lions were among the hazards encountered by veterinary surgeon Graham Duncanson on his marathon 11-month fundraising ride to Cape Town.
To mark his 50 years as a vet, he cycled 8,000 miles from Hainford, near Norwich to the tip of South Africa – raising £14,000 for the Animal Health Trust.
He told 32 fellow members of Stalham Farmers’ Club that he had been supported on various stages by vets from the Westover Veterinary Practice, where he had spent 40 years of his career in east and north Norfolk. His daughter Amelia, who works for a Diss veterinary practice, also joined him for the journey through Italy.
As a newly-qualified vet working in Kenya, one of his first tasks involved taking blood samples from 400 camels. Soon, he became recognised as an expert in the treatment of camels.
Mr Duncanson, then aged 72, of Crostwick, near Norwich, left Norfolk in May 2016. His route took him through Holland and Germany, where the some of the worst flooding of the Rhine, was just one of the early challenges.
Having reached Greece after various incidents, he flew to Entebbe, Uganda, to start the final transit through central and south Africa.
Having invested in Teflon-treated tyres for his bike, which almost lasted the entire length of his expedition, he was fortunate to have just a handful of punctures.
At one stage, he ended up spending a night sleeping out in the bush – and woke to find that a lion was watching him with some interest.
While travelling through South Africa, and while riding up a steep slope, he realised that he was being pursued by a poisonous black mamba snake. The two-metre long snake, feared as the second most deadly snake in Africa, was making rapid progress as he started pedalling frantically to avoid this potentially lethal encounter.
A trustee of the Animal Health Trust, which is supported by the British Veterinary Association, Mr Duncanson was delighted to have raised almost 40 per cent more than his initial target.
He was thanked by Simon Daniels on behalf of the club.
Entry added: 12 Dec 2019
Supper invitation and last call for grain samples
Enjoy an evening with a difference on Wednesday, December 11. All are welcome and please bring a guest to hear our guest speaker. For the final gathering of the year, please support the chairman Henry Alston at the traditional eve-of-meeting supper and join our speaker.
A long-standing member, Graham Duncanson, will give his thoughts on “After 50 years as a vet, what to do before I die? He qualified in 1966 and then spent a career treating camels in Africa to farm animals in North Norfolk. Graham, who also cycled from Hainford to the Cape of Good Hope to raise funds for an animal health charity, has also written a string of racy fiction novels, starting with Mating Lions in 2015. Our meeting starts at 7.30pm but if you would like to come to supper, cost £20, all are welcome, including guests. We meet from 6pm and supper will be served about 6.25pm. Please let the secretary know if you’d like supper – and with your choices by 10am on Monday, December 9 – by email michaelbpollitt@btinternet.com or telephone 01603 486997.

Menu - Wednesday December 11, to dine at 6.30 pm.
Salmon & Hollandaise Sauce - Salmon fillet poached in white wine served with Hollandaise sauce, green beans, oven-roasted vine tomatoes and new potatoes.
Lamb Shank - Local lamb shank slow-roasted in red wine & rosemary served in a rich gravy on a bed of creamy mashed potato with root vegetables
Home-made desserts
Chocolate pudding - Rich steamed chocolate pudding served warm with a chocolate sauce and Parravani’s ice cream; Zesty lemon tart served with whipped cream; Cheese board - Local cheeses served with biscuits, fresh fruit & home-made chutney. Tea or filter coffee.
Entry added: 04 Dec 2019
Cheers - it must be grapes, says UEA scientist
A switch into wine production could be an opportunity for farming in Norfolk and Suffolk, according to a climate change scientist.
"Norfolk and Suffolk are probably two of the best places in England for vineyards," said Prof Andrew Lovett, of the University of East Anglia's School of Environmental Sciences.

Speaking at the opening meeting of Stalham Farmers’ Club’s 178th season, he said that climate change was already having a marked impact. With more than 30 years’ detailed weather data drawn from the two counties since 1961, clear trends had emerged, said Prof Lovett, who was appointed to the chair of geography in 2007.

While agriculture was a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, farmers have the ability to respond and make a major contribution to improve the environment.

In a 35-minute briefing on "Challenges and opportunities of a changing climate for Norfolk Agriculture,” he suggested that a dramatic improvement in food productivity could make a real difference.

At the same time, farmers could change their systems, he argued. For example, widespread use of cover crops after harvest and boosting organic levels in soils could lock up carbon and benefit the environment.

The weather data in Norfolk and Suffolk, dating from 1961 and again from 1981, indicated
the extent of significant change. It was now possible by using GIS (geographical information systems) to chart these impacts in specific areas of 5 sq km.

The temperature data was clear – higher average summer and warmer winter temperatures, decreasing summer rainfall and more intensive rainfall in winter, he said. With emissions of greenhouse gases still increasing, and particularly by agriculture, there had to be major changes to reduce levels of carbon
dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane, he warned.
One opportunity has been identified by a former colleague, Dr Alistair Nesbitt, who had studied at the UEA. He had set up a business, Vinescapes, which was working with farmers and landowners to established vineyards. Norfolk and Suffolk are among the brightest prospects for vines, added Prof Lovett.
Members raised £325 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance following a successful visit to its headquarters last month.
Entry added: 20 Nov 2019
Welcome donations - Members raised £325 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance at the opening meeting of the 178th season. Henry Alston, chairman, reported on a successful visit to the EAAA's Norwich headquarters by 22 members, who had also been given CPR/ de fib training. He thanked Sir William Cubitt, EAAA's chairman, for helping to arrange the evening. Prof Andrew Lovett, of the University of East Anglia, gave a fascinating briefing on climate change implications. Full meeting report - See 2019 Minutes and Reports on the left.
Entry added: 14 Nov 2019
Close result in county quiz -
A combined team from Stalham and Holt Farmers' Club were runners-up in an extremely close contest in the annual Norfolk county quiz.
Defending their joint title after last year's success, Holt's skipper Tim Nicholson and colleagues Ed Stevens and Mark Cook with former Stalham chairman George Gay finished just three points behind champions
Dereham Farm Machinery Club.
Mike Garrod, of Garveston, lifted the trophy as his six-man team scored a total of 69 points in the 10-round quiz at Easton/ Otley College on Monday, November 4.
Organised by a former Stalham member David Morton and his wife, Janet, a dozen teams took part in the annual event. The questions were set by Michael Pollitt, Stalham's secretary.
The Swaffham Centre of the Norfolk Farm Machinery Club finished in third place, just two points behind Stalham.
In the contest between the county's livestock clubs, Gillingham scored 62, ahead of Dereham Livestock Club and third-placed Diss.
Entry added: 05 Nov 2019
For photographs from the East Anglian Air Ambulance visit - taken by vice-chairman Chris Borrett - see photo gallery, left.
Entry added: 25 Oct 2019
Vital lessons in life saving at East Anglian Air Ambulance visit

A 20-strong group of members and guests of Stalham Farmers’ Club had a fascinating behind-the-scenes visit to the East Anglian Air Ambulance headquarters at Norwich Airport.As the charity prepares to launch 24/7 operations in autumn 2020, members were briefed on what has been a record year by chief executive Patrick Peal. An amazing £14.4m in donations funded this vital work as a total of almost 1,800 missions were flown last year. Norfolk topped the list with 1,234, Suffolk 473 and Cambridgeshire 466 missions. In addition, there were 1,023 specialist road responses by the dedicated medical team. Mr Peal said that the EAAA would need to raise £13m a year to operate a full 24/7 service from late 2020. The Cambridge-based helicopter has just extended its hour to provide cover from 7am until 1.30am.However, the proposed phased expansion will help to provide crucial extra cover. It is estimated that there would be a 20 to 22pc increase in mission capability for an 8 to 10pc increase in costs.Plans have been submitted to Norwich City Council for a major expansion of the current headquarters, which will allow all operations to be brought together on a single site. The £6.5m scheme will also include investment in new hangers, training and patient after-care facilities. These plans are likely to be discussed early next month. At present, the charity’s 75 staff are split between different locations around Norwich airport.Since the EAAA launched its first aid training programme in June 2018 led by critical care paramedic Mark Milsom, it has held courses for more than 2,500 people in basic life saving skills. Groups receiving this basic training have included young farmers, Countrysiders and Women’s Institutes.With cardiac arrest accounting for more than a third of call-outs, practical on-the-stop CPR or heart/ chest massage can dramatically boost survival rates.Sir William Cubitt, chairman, said that almost every YFC group in East Anglia had taken up this training opportunity. And from September 2020, secondary schools will be required to give basic CPR lessons as part of the National Curriculum.
Entry added: 24 Oct 2019
Vital life-saving opportunity - A combined life saving course and behind-the-scenes visit is planned at the East Anglian Air Ambulance on Wednesday, October 23. Please meet at 5.30pm for 6pm at the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Hanger E, Gambling Close, Norwich Airport NR6 6EG. (From NDR on Cromer Road, turn left into Buck Courtney Crescent - just before the park and ride entrance).
Members (and guests) will be split into two groups - and then alternate - for the first aid/ ambulance briefing, which has been arranged by Sir William Cubitt, EEAA's chairman.
A specialist trainer will cover basic life saving tips and how to deal with cardiac arrest/ major bleeding.
Names to the secretary, please by Tuesday, 10am - October 22. By arrangement, numbers will be limited to 45. As of writing, we've just hit double figures! Please email michaelbpollitt@btinternet.com or telephone 01603 486997.
Entry added: 14 Oct 2019
Quiz competition. Put your brain cells to the test in a fun quiz against the farming and livestock clubs in Norfolk on
Monday, November 4, 7pm. As Stalham was joint winner of the 2018 county quiz at Easton/ Otley College - so, with our friends and rivals, Holt Farmers, the club is co-defending its title!
Anyone, who would like to support Stalham's team will be most welcome. Ideally, six in a team should combine maximum knowledge and brain power. It costs £5, with a light (and generous) supper included, and has 10 rounds of questions. Again, names to the secretary, please. Please email michaelbpollitt@btinternet.com or telephone 01603 486997.
Entry added: 14 Oct 2019
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