Meeting Farmers

FWlaunch4_1_BNo two farms are alike.  It is true though that in Penrith and the Border there are some initial similarities. Walking along the River Eden last year, I saw friends with farms near Appleby, Kirkoswald, and Croglin. Each family lived in a red sandstone Cumbrian farmhouse, and served their visitor large plates of fresh scones and sandwiches. Each man was from a long farming tradition, had a quick brain, detailed technical knowledge of his land and a clear sense of cost. But every business was different, experimenting with varied breeds, feeds, and machinery. In such a diverse industry, with such a wide range of pressures, how can a MP or a Minister help? My own experience has led me to feel that we have to start much closer to home. A good decision on how many sheep to keep on a fell draws on an individual farmer’s understanding of his own hillside. Bad decisions on farming and the environment tend to be made two hundred miles away on the basis of a mathematical model.

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Rory called in to rescue farmers from effects of snow

Rory persuaded ministers this Saturday, to sign off on emergency measures to allow feed trucks to get through to isolated farms in the snow. The extreme weather conditions had made it very difficult for feed trucks to get through the snow to remote hill farms, in Cumbria, and across the country. Special measures were required […]

rory votes for skelton show as best in britain

Rory has cast his vote for Skelton Show in a national competition run by the Farmers Guardian in an attempt to find Britain’s favourite agricultural show. With an annual attendance of 10,000, Skelton Show is the largest village show in Cumbria, and its exhibitors compete for more than £12,000 in prize money and 130 trophies. […]

rory encourages government to help local farmers

Rory last week encouraged Government to ensure a local official was present at an NFU meeting, organised to help farmers better understand and cope with the extremely challenging conditions in which many now find themselves. The meeting, held in Longtown, attracted over 30 local farmers from the surrounding area, where veterinary experts and representatives from […]

rory engages with local farming industry to address local concerns

Rory has recently engaged in a series of meetings with local farmers from across his constituency to better understand the concerns and problems currently facing the local farming industry, including with the Appleby branch of the NFU and Penrith’s 1A1 Club. Following disastrous weather conditions over the past 18 months which has seen a significant rise […]

Rory encourages nominations for ‘Rural Oscars’

Rory is reminding constituents that the eighth annual Countryside Alliance Awards – dubbed the ‘Rural Oscars’ – have opened for entries. The awards, which celebrate rural life, produce, heritage and character, are led by public nomination across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Members of the public are invited to vote online until 29th October 2012. […]

In support of dairy farmers

Half a century of pain – with five dairy farms going out of business every week since the Second World War – has terminated in crisis. At least half of all dairy farmers are now being paid less than their cost of production, and will soon be driven – unless something changes – into bankruptcy. […]

export action plan boost for cumbrian farmers

Rory has welcomed the launch of Defra’s Farming Export Action Plan and urged the Minister, Jim Paice, to press ahead with plans to have dedicated FCO agriculture secretaries posted to the UK’s most important export markets. Cumbria is home to around a million ewes – more than in any other area in England – and its farmers […]

defra consultation

Rory has offered his support to local landscape charity Friends of the Lake District’s campaign to protect green spaces, adding his voice to those of concern that proposals to change the current Town and Village Green registration system could mean that local communities lose the right to register green spaces that they value for sport […]


hesket newmarket show

Rory attended Hesket Newmarket show on Saturday, where he met with committee members and show President William Cowx and Throstle Hall hosts Robert and Liz Mounsey, inspected the cattle and sheep classes, learnt about Herdwick sheep breeding from local farmer James Rebanks, and gave an interview to field steward and seasoned show commentator Bob Whitson […]