Welcome win for North Downs mixed enterprise, thanks to NSA

25th July 2017

With a busy mixed farming enterprise to run, Hugh Broom and his family couldn’t be more thrilled to have won a new piece of kit with the potential to save time and improve accuracies when working with their flock in Dorking, Surrey.

Hugh is the most recent winner in NSAs membership recruitment prize draw, which is giving away four IAE lamb weigh crates worth more than £550 through this year. New NSA members are automatically entered into the draw on signing up, as well as existing members who recommend someone to join.

Hugh is a fourth-generation farmer in the family run business which reintroduced sheep, alongside cattle and arable enterprises, in 1997. He says: “We run a closed flock of 350 Highlander cross ewes just below the North Downs, breeding our own replacements alongside Texel crosses for the prime lamb market. It is a fairly extensive system, with minimal creep given to the lambs or ewes other than concentrates in the lead-up to lambing time.”

Alongside sheep, the farm run between 80 to 100 store beef cattle annually as well as growing a small crop of asparagus to sell locally to farm shops and restaurants during its peak season. The beef enterprise too is run extensively, Hugh explains, and focuses on producing high quality kale and grasses for grazing and good quality silage.

Efficiency is key to the farms flock management, which Hugh says is essential to make the enterprise viable. “We have a robust vaccination policy against clostridial diseases and lameness, in place for almost nine years now, and we try to intervene as little as possible other than to give fly and worm control treatments. It’s cost effective, as well as time efficient, to run the flock like this which is a no brainer for a small flock being run alongside other enterprises.   

“At a time of uncertainty, t he industry needs all the kick it can get to get best deal for UK sheep farmers which is why I joined the NSA earlier this year to support the important work it does in supporting some fantastic work going on to modernise the industry. We need to get a whole lot smarter about communicating the environmental story behind lamb, an argument I’ve heard NSA put forward time and time again.”

Hugh says he is looking forward to putting the weigh crate to good use, describing it as a ‘welcome upgrade’ to the farms existing facilities.

NSA is giving away four IAE lamb weigh crates between 1st December 2016 and 2nd November 2017. Full terms and conditions and membership application forms at www.nationalsheep.org.uk/draw/