Craig returned to farming in 2008 after working as an engineer in the oil industry. He and Claire started farming in their own right in 2010, investing in egg production with a 72,000-bird laying hen business. They bought and rented additional land and farm about 160ha with 150 high health status beef cattle and a joint venture running a 2,000 pig place finishing unit, as well as taking on another poultry site in 2020 with an additional 76,000 laying birds. In total, the pair have 148,000 birds made up of free range and colony birds. They also act as contractors for neighbouring farms and run a small building business. Craig was the Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year in 2012.
Craig said: “Our farm is quite mixed with lots going on so we applied for this programme to help us tie all the different elements together. There could be scope for the different businesses to work in tandem, making us more profitable and more sustainable.”
Claire added: “We have also been doing some detailed work on the carbon footprint of our farm and its output. The carbon conversation is happening with our customers now, and at the moment we can’t quantify it properly. We need to be far more clued up about what carbon we’re producing and look at the opportunities to offset it.”
Craig and Claire have begun working on GPS soil mapping with Hutchinsons and made a start on nutrient planning, as well as getting involved with some trials on a field of winter barley, putting different quantities of P and K on separate tramlines.
A big target for the couple is to produce more of their own protein requirement and they have been trialling some spring and winter beans to see if it can displace the need for bought-in protein.
Find out more about what Resilient and Ready means to Craig's business here.