Morrisons visit two Yorkshire FRP farming families

December 9, 2021

On Thursday 2nd December, The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s Senior Programme Manager, Beth Summers, was delighted to host David Potts, Morrisons CEO, and Andrew Thornber, Morrisons Manufacturing Director, at two Yorkshire family farms that have participated in the Farm Resilience Programme (FRP).

The PCF is extremely grateful to Morrisons, who have invested over half a million pounds towards our work in family farms and rural communities, and over the past two years they have sponsored four FRP groups (Garstang, Skipton, Kendal and Dartmoor) which 20 participating farming families in each group.  

The day started with a visit to the farm of John and Louise Hobson who took part in the FRP in the Skipton 2019/20 group. Together, they farm a commercial flock of Easy-Care Sheep and a herd of Stabilisers Cattle in West Yorkshire. Whilst on the farm tour, John and Louise explained how they have built their farm, herd, and flock up over time but are always keen to learn and improve their systems – the Farm Resilience Programme provided a fresh and different way of looking at their business.  

The day finished with a visit to Rupert and Fiona Arnold in West Yorkshire. They farm a flock of native Whitefaced Woodland sheep in West Yorkshire. Beth said: “We walked around the farm, followed by the pet sheep, as Rupert and Fiona explained that they were acutely aware when they moved back to the farm 10 years ago that to earn a living from a small farm without diversification and imagination is not an option.”   

Rupert and Fiona joined the Farm Resilience Programme in 2019 and since joining they are developing their vision for their farm’s future and its environmental credentials. They said, “when faced with decisions that will impact future generations, it has been vital to have the variety of professional support so readily and generously available through the programme. Without a doubt we are moving forward with greater awareness and knowing where to turn for support within the network.” 

The PCF would like to thank Morrisons again for their generous support of us and the farming families we support through the FRP.