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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher

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Farmer John’s September ’15 blog

Farmer John’s September ’15 blog

27 Nov 2015

A soggy August has given way to a cool, cloudy September. As I write much of the harvest in some parts of the country has yet to be cut. With values for all commodities including wheat, barley, rape, lambs, milk and beef at an all-time low, a sense of despondency prevails in the farming community. But the grass is growing vigorously for the first time this year, ploughing has started, and some of next year’s crops are already in the ground. Farming is a way of life, and perseverance and hard work in all weathers are the essential characteristics of the job.

Steve Waters has just come to the end of his first year running Rushall Farm. He is now in partnership with the owner, William Cumber, and has simplified the business. He is working with his father, Peter, and his sister Elizabeth, who is also a student at Sparsholt Agricultural College. Their main enterprises are sheep and beef so the fields are mainly growing grass and stubble turnips, with arable breaks of oats and barley. He has a good model for the future, and it is a wonderful and unusual opportunity for a young person like Steve to be able to ‘go farming’.

The John Simonds Trust is very fortunate to have full access to the farm. Only last week we had 50 young people with their leaders camping. Each day they laid on a whole series of fun activities for children from Lower Earley. Everyone benefits from such a week together, with new experiences and the development of new friendships, and it’s encouraging to see leaders developing perseverance in the really wet weather! During the same week Mo Farah won the 5,000 Metres, pushing through when he should have been right at the end of his resources, to win the race. What a challenge and inspiration to all of us!

‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.’

1 Corinthians 9:24