FarmingFriends Forum Switched Off For A Few Days

We just wanted to let you know that we have had to switch the forum off for a few days as it was getting hit by masses of spam in the background so we are looking at ways to combat this or make changes to the forum, so I will let you know when we are back on line. Sorry for the inconvenience. If you do have a question or issue related to your livestock or poultry please use the contact form to get in touch. Kind regards Sara

Farmhouse Breakfast Week 23rd – 29th January 2011

I just wanted to let you know that the Farmhouse Breakfast week is between 23rd and 29th January 2011.

The theme for Farmhouse Breakfast Week 2011 urges people to Shake Up Their Wake Up by eating a healthy balanced breakfast every day.

Lots of breakfast events will be taking place between 23rd – 29th January 2011 and you can find out more at

So how will you shake up your breakfast during farmhouse breakfast week? Let us know what you do!

RSPCA Good Business Awards 2010

I received an email on behalf of the RSPCA about encouraging supermarkets to do more for animal welfare.

For the second year running, the RSPCA Good Business Awards is open to the public through the People’s Choice Supermarket award which means that people can vote for the supermarket they think is doing the most for animal welfare.

The People’s Choice Supermarket award is back and bigger than ever before. Voting is open to the public again this year, which means that people can directly reward the supermarket they think is doing the most for animal welfare, helping to encourage other shops to do more.

The RSPCA has short-listed four stores that have achieved high welfare standards in the past twelve months. Now they are just waiting for the public to choose a winner. The four supermarkets that have made it through to the short-list are the Co-operative, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

By casting a vote for the one you feel has done the most for farm animal welfare, you will be encouraging all supermarkets to follow suit and raise their standards. So a vote for your favourite is really a vote on behalf of farm animals everywhere. Voting closes on September 10th, and the winner will be announced in October. You can find  all the details at

BBC Looking For Family Members To Be On Hairy Bikers Show

I have just received an email from Ingrid, one of the Assistant Producers for the BBC in London and they are casting for a brand new Hairy Bikers cooking show.

Hairy Bikers

Hairy Bikers

“Are you Britain’s best cooking family? If so, the Hairy Bikers want YOU to take part in a new TV contest.”

They are looking for families who have a genuine passion for food and are able to demonstrate a signature dish that shows your ability and unique cooking style.

They are looking for families to take part – it can be any relation: cousins, aunt and uncles, nieces, mums, dads, in-laws and kids. Each team must consist of 3 people: either 3 adults, or 2 adults and one child (the child must be over 12 years). A maximum of one child per family may take part. This is a contest for amateurs.

For an application form e-mail:
Or apply online at
or call 0330 1234 022 and leave your name and number.
Closing date Monday 12th July 2010.

I can also pass on your details to Ingrid. Let me know if you get on the show!

Get Walking Day 23rd May 2010

Did you know that there is a a Get Walking Day will this year will be held on Sunday 23 May 2010.

The Get Walking event aims to encourage people to take up walking as a way of exercising.

Last years Get Walking Day was a great success with over 100 local Groups organising 150 short introductory walks with over 3,000 people taking part.

You can take part in a free and organised walk on the day with an  are free  an experienced rambler, if you would like to find out more about the event then you can visit the Ramblers Association website.

We get many villagers walking up the lane where we live, walking is a great way of exercising and also a great way to see the countryside and the flora and fauna and get up close to wildlife in their natural habitat.

If you decide to do a walk on Get Walking Day let me know where you went and what you saw!

Freedom Food Chicken Sales On The Up

I received an email yesterday on behalf of the RSPCA to thank me for writing about the Quash the Squash campaign last year (and BBQ Source, and People’s Choice!).

They wanted to let me know that thanks to coverage like mine, and despite the recession, people are choosing to buy more RSPCA Freedom Food labelled indoor chicken than ever before, while sales of ‘standard’ chicken have dropped

Freedom Food chicken sales are on the up as ‘standard’ takes a downturn, new research reveals.

New research reveals people are choosing to buy more Freedom Food labelled indoor chicken than ever before, whilst lower welfare ‘standard’ chicken is taking a downturn.

This news comes despite growing unemployment over the past year, showing that people are not prepared to cut corners when it comes to animal welfare.

The research – carried out by Kantar Worldpanel for RSPCA Freedom Food – reveals growth and spend on Freedom Food indoor reared chicken is far outstripping ‘standard’, with a staggering 55.2 million pound increase in consumer spending on Freedom Food labelled chicken (from 16.4 million to 71.6 million) since March last year.

This compares to a drop of more than 26 million pounds spent on ‘standard’ chicken – proof that animal welfare is still on the shopping list of even the most budget-conscious consumers.

This news comes more than two years after chicken welfare hit the headlines with high profile campaigns by Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Leigh Grant, Freedom Food’s chief executive, said:

“We expected to see an increase in sales of Freedom Food chicken after Jamie and Hugh highlighted the benefits of buying higher welfare back in 2008 – but these latest results far exceed anything we could have predicted. They are absolute proof that chicken welfare is of paramount importance to more people than ever before. And the fact shoppers have stood firm by animal welfare through some of the most difficult economic times only reinforces that it is an issue that is here to stay.”

The research shows that Sainsbury’s is the largest retailer of Freedom Food chicken, followed by Tesco and then Morrisons.

The RSPCA want to let everybody know that they are really having an impact on animal welfare when they choose higher welfare chicken, and they want to make it clear that people really do care.  So, they are running a poll asking how you would feel if your supermarket removed your higher welfare chicken option, and what would you do?
You can read more about it and answer the poll here on the RSPCA website.

Food & Education Rural e-Network

This February the FeRN organisation, the Food and Education Rural e-Network, was launched to provide a voice for women in the agri-food sector. FeRN is a new voluntary organisation which aims to offer a fresh viewpoint on the UK agri-food industry and will primarily run as a women’s e-organisation, to facilitate communication and debate between members across the UK and Europe.

“We want to be a focal point for all women of all ages working at all levels of the food,
farming and rural sectors – from chief executive to farm secretary, scientist to supermarket buyer, consultant to farmer – to be able to meet, network, discuss and debate the industry they are part of,” explains FeRN chairman Sue Archer.

FeRN’s aim is for members to set-up local and regional networks across the UK. The national office will act as a knowledge exchange hub enabling members to contribute up-to-date opinion, news and information online and by email. The website will be developed over the next few months, so all you women in the food and farming sector go take a look at their website.

WFU Conference 28th-30th March 2010

I just wanted to let all you UK women farmer’s out thereknow about the Women’s Food & Farming Conference for 2010 will be at Askham Bryan College between the 28th-30th March 2010.

The theme for this year’s conference is Food for the Future.

The speakers this year include:

  • Will Cockbain – who will be speaking about Food and Environmental Security.
  • Paul Brereton – who will talk about Lost Food – tracing the origin of food.
  • Heather Parry – who will speak about the challenges faced and benefits of using environmentally friendly materials.
  • Graham Ward OBE – who will talk about the food crops which could be grown in the UK as growing conditions change, he will also include developing new varieties by traditional and genetic modification methods.

The three day conference  commences with the annual dinner on Sunday evening, the conference on Monday and a trip to visit the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s new premises on Tuesday morning.


Conference Day Ticket (includes refreshments and lunch) £15

Conference Dinner £25

Conference Day Ticket plus one evening accommodation ( all meals included) £75

Conference Day ticket plus accommodation for 2 nights ( all meals included) £110

Tickets can be obtained from Sally Robinson at Valley View Farm, Old Byland, Helmsley, York YO62 5LG by sending a cheque or email and telephone 01439 798221 to pay by credit card.

Let me know if you are a member of the WFU and if you are attending the WFU conference.

National Dairy Week 22nd-28th February 2010

This week (22nd – 28th February 2010) is National Dairy Week, set up by The Dairy Council.

On Wednesday 24th February, The Dairy Council will celebrate their 90th birthday, so happy birthday Dairy Council!

The week was launched by the Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury who poses as ‘the Dairy Fairy’ for the Smile For Dairy campaign,where the public are being asked to smile for dairy and send in their photos.

On a more serious note, Dairy UK will be busy lobbying MPs ahead of the week with key messages about dairy products, with facts that dairy products sell more than any other variety of food at the supermarket – more than £8bn per year – and fit easily into a healthy balanced diet.

“Dairy UK will be handing MPs a blueprint to securing a profitable dairy sector so that whichever party is returned to power at the next election, they will have the information they need to make the right decisions for farmers and dairies.

Farmers will be receiving special National Dairy Week stickers for their cars and tractors. And Dairy UK is also planning to spread the good news about dairy through radio DJs and journalists.

Finally, dairy companies are joining in by telling their members all about National Dairy Week. Some are even inviting children from local schools to visit a dairy or creamery and learn about how their favourite dairy foods get from farm to supermarket shelf.

There are so many reasons to be Proud of Dairy during this week’s National Dairy Week. What’s yours?”

Source: The Dairy Council

Let me know what you are doing to celebrate or promote National Dairy Week.

Julia Bradbury Launches Smile For Dairy Campaign 21st February 2010

TV presenter Julia Bradbury launched the Smile For Dairy Campaign yesterday (21st February 2010) to get National Dairy Week celebrations under way.

A smiling Julia, dressed as a fairy showed her love of dairy products as she posed with an enormous glass of milk.

Julia Bradbury said: “Everyone knows I’m a country girl at heart and I am delighted to wave my magic wand in National Dairy Week and become the Dairy Fairy. Just about every household in Britain uses milk, cheese, yogurt and we should be proud that we produce such natural and nutritious foods. It’s something many of us perhaps take for granted.”

The 2009 consumer survey conducted by The Dairy Council shows:

– 97% of UK households consumed dairy products.

– Fresh milk and cheese were the most consumed dairy products.

– Of the 97% of respondents who consumed dairy products 86% consumed them every day.

– Over two thirds of people think that dairy products are healthy especially as part of children’s diets.

The Smile for Dairy Campaign has been launched by The Dairy Council – which promotes the nutritional benefits of dairy products.

To show your support and love of dairy products Smile for Dairy and send The Dairy Council a picture of you smiling to

Visit the Smile for Dairy Website to see Julia Bradbury and many more smiles at