Goats and GCSE's


This Wednesday I went to Umberslade Farm Park with my niece again for the first time since February. She is almost two now so we thought she would enjoy it more and interact with the animals a bit more. We went right when it opened so we could stay for a few hours and then head back for her to have a nap.

First, we went to see the goats and ferrets in the goat house. Sophie thought it was hilarious because there was a cat asleep in the hay rack in the goat house. Then we went outside where they had some goat kids. They were only a month old and they were so cute! It made me want more goats...

The next thing we did was feed the calves, this was one of the scheduled activities and Sophie loved giving them their bottle. We went to visit the sheep and donkeys in the activity barn before visiting the ponies.

Sophie particularly liked riding the scoot along tractors and checking under the hood (it seems I have taught her well!), young farmers here she comes!

One of Sophie’s favourite parts of the day was visiting the park and the indoor play area, she‘s such a daredevil on the slides.

We went and visited all of the animals one last time before we left so she could say goodbye to each and every one, especially Peppa the Pig and the bunnies.

On Thursday it was time for me to pick up my GCSE results... It had been almost two months since I finished my exams so I had been eagerly awaiting this day. I went to school and picked them up and then had my friends over for a celebratory lunch. I was very happy with my results coming away with 1 A*, 8 As and 2 Bs.

I had a pair of Le Chameau wellies for my exam result present from my parents and a new Schoffel gilet in Ruby from my aunt. My sisters both gave me a present to say congratulations too. 

I am off to Brighton with my family tomorrow until Wednesday which will be a nice way to finish off the holiday as I am back to school, well 6th form, on Friday . I am looking forward to another year of young farmers too and on Wednesday night we will be having our club AGM to elect a new Chairman, Secretary etc... 
**All Opinions are my own and are not influenced or sponsored by the brands

A-Levels to Ag College


Seeing as last week people all over the country were receiving their A-Level results and accepting and choosing where they are going to be studying for the next 3+ years, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about universities. Two in particular that many young people wanting to go into agriculture or some form of rural career look at are Harper Adams and the Royal Agricultural University (formerly the Royal Agricultural College).

I am getting my GCSE results this week and then hopefully going on to study Biology, Chemistry, Physics and History for the next two years (yes I know I’m crazy) with the view to then go on to study Veterinary Medicine at Uni, so I’m no university expert myself... But I have had two sisters go to university and I have lots of friends in their late teens/the early twenties either at university or headed to university next year, so I know a bit.

I don’t want this to turn into a major Harper vs Ciren post - because lets be honest, both are great and I’m sure anyone could be happy at either (also there's a lot of rivalries there and I’m not about to pick a side!) – but I do want to have a little look at the pros and cons because, hey... it might help someone!

We will start off with what I know about Harper... I know a few people who have gone to Harper to do agricultural degrees (Rural Land, Agriculture etc...) and have been very happy there. Harper seems to be a very welcoming university, they have a lot of fun and get lots done. They have a 99.4% graduate employment rate which sounds pretty impressive and sounds to me like if you go to Harper you’re going to get hired! They have won quite a few awards in the last few years including 2nd place in the accommodation category of the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2016 and winner of the University of the Year in the same competition. You hear nothing but praise from Harper Students so that has to mean something! Another benefit to studying at Harper is that some of the courses are ‚sandwich‘ courses – meaning you take a year out of the classroom to go into the industry and see what it will really be like after uni, also you get some great experience which will help with finding employment after your final year.

On the other hand, the royal agricultural uni is a beautiful university situated in lovely Cirencester... It is arguably a more well-known university with a graduate employment rate of 96%. They have some courses unique to the uni such as the one-year farming course. I know someone who has just been accepted to study Applied Farm Management there next year so I’m sure I will get more of an insight to the ciren life. The university has an impressive list of alumni including MPs, Earls, Viscounts, Marquesses, Rugby Players and more. Old students are so loyal to their alma mater and Ciren students are almost patriotic about the uni. The campus is really quite something and I’ve heard it's not uncommon to see people walking around campus with shotguns (there is, after all, rivalry in rural sports between these two universities) and turning up at the start of term in land rovers. It looks like an amazing place to study!

I would be interested to hear your take on the situation, which uni do you think is better, or are they both just great places to learn? Tweet me with your thoughts on the Harper V. Ciren debate @woesofwellies

Work Experience with a Large Animal Vet


This week I have been doing work experience with a large animal vet covering Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

On my first day, we went out to see two horses, one with a swollen, infected leg from a nasty cut. He had to have IV injections for the next few days, so we were back and forth visiting him for the next few days, monitoring his swelling and delivering the injections. We also visited a shetland pony that wheezed after exercise, he is being monitored and possibly scanned to identify any abnormalities.

The next day we were back to give IV to the horse with the swollen leg, and then we were busy for the rest of the day doing castrations. We spent 2 ½ hours castrating 36 bull calves at a beef farm. I was in charge of filling the syringes with the antibiotic so I guess you could say I have mastered that skill now, or at least managed to fill 36 syringes without too much disaster!

On the third day, we went to visit a pony who had been at pony camp the week before and went lame one of his front legs. The vet assessed the pony in walk and trot but was uncertain of the issue so we went back to x-ray it later. The x-rays were developed the next day and he discovered a hairline fracture in the pony’s canon bone. He will be on box rest for about 2 months but should be ok after that.

Thursday was by far the busiest day, starting off visiting two 3-month-old Kune Kune Piglets with lice. They were very cute and the one was so tiny! We stopped to test a urine sample of a laminitic horse, borderline on cushings disease, then went on to deliver an order of drugs to a stud farm. After that, we stopped by a farm of Aberdeen Angus Cattle where a calf had gone lame on his front leg. The lameness came from his shoulder which was very swollen and the vet suspected the injury was due to trauma. The last stop for the day was a dairy farm for TB testing of 4 cows due to be moved. This was particularly interesting for me as I had not seen this done before. I got to watch the guys milking the cows for a while, while the vet filled in paperwork. It's surprising how much you can pick up from just observing a milking session for 20 minutes!

On my last day we went out to see a cat with jaundice, it was a lovely cat that loved having its tummy tickled and it seems to be getting used to having injections now. He was very well behaved! My last call with the vet was another round of TB testing, this time at a small farm where only 3 cows needed to be tested.

I had a great week with the vet and definitely learned a lot! It has really made me look forward to my next placement as I love being around the large animals... 

The Game Fair at Ragley - 2016


On Saturday we went to the Game Fair at Ragley Hall. It was local to us and I love these shopping opportunities, there's always something great to see and do.

We got there for about 11 after numerous turnarounds on the journey to get sunglasses, walking sticks, you name it! After sitting standstill traffic around the Ragley estate for a while we finally got in. I have to commend the staff at the game fair as the parking was very well organised and they were very accommodating.

We came in at Gate C and watched some of the working dog trials, I love to see the partnership between the dog and the trainer as they send them out to retrieve dummies. You can really see the bond that they have built up, its true what they say – a dog really is man’s best friend...

After watching the gun dog trials, we went to meet my Aunty. We had a walk around the rural land management area and stopped to see the lovely people at Harper Adams (and their not so lovely edible bug challenge)... We met up with my Aunty and set off to shop – the main purpose being to get my mum’s birthday present. She wanted some country boots like my Dublin River Boots so that was the day’s task.

We did eventually manage to get her some boots and she loves them! I also got to try on some le chameaus at their stand as that's what I am hoping to get as my exam results treat (providing all goes well)!

We stopped for lunch in the food area and there was so much to choose from! I had a hoisin duck wrap with duck fat chips – it was amazing! We also got some churros with chocolate which were delicious and freshly made!

We watched some showjumping which was brilliant, I love to watch these smaller shows as it is always very exciting. There was definitely lots of talent there...

I ran into a few of my friends from Young Farmers there too so it was nice to catch up with them.  

We had a great day, there was so much to see and buy there. I can’t wait to go back next year!

**I have not been sponsored or asked to write this blog post, all views and comments are my own. I am in no way affiliated with the brands aforementioned.

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