The latest from NFU Cheshire County Chairman Richard Yarwood

03 October 2022

NFU Cheshire County Chairman Richard Yarwood

In his latest blog Richard pays tribute to Her Majesty the Queen, gives details of a recent meeting with NFU President Minette Batters and talks about his visits to the Cheshire Ploughing Match and Chester Cathedral's Harvest Festival.

Even if its repetitive, I must pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen, a shining example of service and dedication until the very end.

Her farming tenants in South Cheshire have shared their memorable encounters and confirmed she was a true countrywoman.

Our visit to Pickstock in Telford was fascinating and we were all most impressed with the modern facilities and hardworking staff, many from Eastern Europe.  A great business and we were well looked after.

A couple of events were cancelled during the build up to the Queen’s funeral, so I was relieved that our scheduled visit by our NFU President survived and happened the day after.

Minette was made welcome in our feeding passage (nearly spotless thanks to Rob and team) and gave us an update on the many worrying issues and challenges.

There then followed a series of questions from Cheshire’s finest, ranging from the energy and fertiliser crisis, access to permanent labour visas, trade deals, Red Tractor, vegans to environment schemes.

Of course, TB and our campaign for the successful wildlife control policy to continue uninterrupted was also discussed. We requested it be pressed forth to the new Defra Secretary of State, which Minette pledged to do.

The highlight though went to the irrepressible Julie Eggleston who was as direct as usual, informing our President what a task it is to feed the public, serve them and entertain them all for meagre reward. Thanks Julie and your sentiments have been magnified by no less than Jeremy Clarkson in a letter to the new Secretary of State signed by over 10,000 people.

I was also honoured to represent Cheshire farmers at Chester Cathedral’s Harvest Service which included the arrival of the striking sculpture of the National Harvest Torch. Many thanks to Reverend Anne Lawson for the invitation.

Cheshire Ploughing Match returned in its traditional spectacle at a familiar Brereton venue thanks to the Pace and Marrow families.

Cheshire’s whole farming community came out in force, along with Brereton schoolchildren and neighbours.

Before setting off I contributed to a Radio 5Live feature about dairy price inflation with Rachel Burden. Yes, a pint of milk has gone up 50% in 12 months and another significant increase is happening. However, in the previous 13 years it only went up a penny. It’s some consolation that fake milks are currently going up in price even faster.

Long Live the King.

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