We were thrilled to welcome a new partner to Jamie’s Farm Hereford this month, Esteem South Academy, alternative provision from South Derbyshire. This group of young people really threw themselves into every aspect of the farm and we were blown away by their enthusiasm. They were particularly creative during their craft session, when given the chance to see if they could communicate with the cows…
Priory Park Community, a SEN provision from near Dudley, joined us as a new partner. We were delighted to learn of our shared ambitions and aligned missions. Priory Park’s motto is ‘Include, Inspire, Empower’. They do an incredible job in standing behind this motto, providing support for individuals at significant risk of permanent exclusion from mainstream school. We had a lovely autumnal pizza feast outdoors (while we still can!) and some fantastic singing around the campfire.
Young people from Holmleigh Park helped us in the important task of leading an interview panel for new roles we have been hiring for. They did an incredible job of this and were very professional indeed. Their voices are essential and at the heart of what we do – so we’re very proud of their contribution to the hiring process at the farm. But it wasn’t all serious talk during their week, there was lots of love for muddy puddles and caring for the animals too.
We enjoyed a fantastic follow-up visit with the young people at Bridge Malvern, where we joined a school-led woodwork session, shared a lovely lunch and played basketball with the group before presenting their certificates and sharing a film of their time at the Hereford farm. We were even treated to a tour of their very own school farm and were very happy to meet all of their very well-cared-for animals.
Out on the farm, we are waiting for our sow to farrow, which is sparking lots of interesting conversations between the young people about where their food comes from and how it reaches their plates. The cows have come inside for the winter, and the teaser ram has gone in with the ewes to get them cycling, to ensure a more condensed lambing period for our hard-working farmers. Pumpkin season is in full swing, as is the harvesting of apples – all very much enjoyed by visiting groups.
We also have two new horses on the farm, Lilley and Rupert, who you can see pictured below. In the photo, they are being introduced to our resident pony, Oakie. We are excited to have a new herd for the winter and to introduce them to the young people, who are always so respectful and attentive to our equine friends.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Ali as we are saying goodbye. Ali has worked as our Farm Manager for the last year. During his time at Jamie’s Farm Hereford, he has contributed so much; pioneering meat chickens (which is a first for all Jamie’s Farms), taking our regenerative approach further and being such a steady, knowledgeable and good natured presence for our visitors. Well done Ali, our team will miss you!