Summer brings new lessons for Sophia

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We may have just struggled through some high winds and blustry rain but for the Rae Breed farmers its all about the summer sun.

It’s July for the farmers this week as Rare Breed - A Farming Year continues on UTV on Tuesday (28 February) at 7.30pm.

With the school holidays just starting George Bingham, from Templepatrick uses this time to teach his seven year old daughter Sophia about the family business.

In the farm with the young calves, George says: “I think the first thing a ‘wee’ one needs to learn is how to be safe and sensible around stock.” Sophia says: “Sometimes they like to run off, if a cow is being very bold I need to stay out of the way.”

George continues: “This farm was originally my mother’s farm and with how farming is progressing becoming more automated with technology, there is no reason why ladies can’t be in the industry.”

Near Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone, Chris Johnston has nearly finished selling this year’s cattle.

He is doing final preparations to a young bull before it goes to its new owner.

To meet health and safety regulations, Chris must put a nose ring in the bull to cut the risk to farmers when working with them.

Chris says: “I prefer to put the ring in them, it could save a man’s life.

“There is a myth that the owner keeping the bull should never put the ring in as ‘they’ say a bull never forgets, so before I sell him on I’ll put it in so the farmer and this bull have a good relationship.”

Summer is busy period for flower grower Barbara Erwin near Hillsborough, Co Down. She’s in the tunnels working with her chrysanthemum crops, she says: “The chrysanthemums are a very good crop in August/September. I’ve haven’t got very sophisticated technology but provided I look after them carefully they seem to do alright.”

Barbara is a small producer and to increase her profits she needs to expand her growing season. Barbara says: “The difficult part is not the growing, it is finding where to sell it and get the right price for it, and I’ve been working harder on that this year.”

UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series, which is sponsored by Dale Farm, Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Tuesday (28th February) at 7.30pm on UTV.