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Farmer John’s October 2012 Blog

Farmer John’s October 2012 Blog

1 Oct 2012

Mark Wiseman has the nickname “Sparks”. He is the arable manager on William Cumber’s farm at Marcham near Abingdon.

Mark Wiseman has the nickname “Sparks”. He is the arable manager on William Cumber’s farm at Marcham near Abingdon. He normally starts his day at 6.30 to exercise his dog. On Tuesday this week he woke late so changed his route to get to work on time. Minutes in he came across an older man with tear-stained cheeks who explained how he had lost his dog the previous evening. He had hunted for him until midnight, but to no avail. Mark said he’d look out for the dog and make a special effort with the farm quad bike later. Continuing his walk, his dog became upset on the edge of a huge field of maize. Mark battled through the crop and found a totally exhausted, mud covered animal, which could no longer walk. He carried the dog back to the man’s car. Reunited; and as a passing comment, Mark asked the owner the dog’s name. “Sparks” the old man replied. Mark didn’t get to work on time but sat wondering at the chain of events which led to such a happy conclusion.

Still at Marcham, William’s beef manager Neil was one of the 3 finalists in the Farmers Weekly “Beef Farmer of the Year” competition. The event was held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. There were 15 categories of prize winners. It was an altogether a glitzy affair with Lord Coe speaking and presenting the awards, with notable captains of our industry taking part, including a standing ovation for our recently sacked Minister of Agriculture. The voice of the National Lottery compered….We were invited to join the celebration. I must say I found the man upstairs in the customer service in Newbury M&S most helpful. I rarely go shopping but if I do I take a minder. Lindsay couldn’t come. As I was kitted out for the evening and then went on to organise a morning suit for Windsor Castle on the back of success, a lady near me spent the entire time trying to trace a £5 potato peeler she had ordered on the internet. We had a great time in London. Neil did not win, and the last time I saw Mark he was still wondering.