Have I Got News For Ewe

NFU Conference 2019

posted by Cesca February 24, 2019 0 comments

I’ve been mulling over the NFU conference for a few days now, and have held off putting up tweets about it for the sole reason that a single, or a few tweets won’t be able to convey as much as a blog post could.

So, Cesca On The Farm is back, how long for? I’m unsure, but maybe I’ll gain momentum from this day forward?

#NFU19, where to start. I was fairly nervous the Tuesday morning when I was driving down to The ICC, Birmingham. Wondering if I would know anyone to chat to, whether I would stick out like a sore thumb if I was intelligent enough to be there to learn and understand?

The bacon bap and tea soon sorted me out once I had arrived, a bit of soul food to start the day right.

Minette opened with the most motivational, awe-inspiring opening address, what a woman I thought to myself, she’s courageous, humorous, quick-witted and knows her stuff. A lady with grace and great disposition, whom I thoroughly look up to.

Gove was clearly also very impressed with Minette and spent a few minutes praising her, well deserved too after her first year being so fantastic during what was an extremely difficult 2018. As ever, with politics, there wasn’t a huge amount that he could divulge, but he did promise to send a handwritten letter to Minette regarding food standards:


The next session was ‘The Future of Food – where are we going?’ with Dr Andrea Graham, Head of Policy Services, NFU, Jack Bobo, Vice President for Global Policy and Government Affairs, Intrexon Corporation, James Walton, Chief Economist, IGD, Chaired by Guy Smith, Deputy President, NFU.

Jack Bobo from Intrexon had my mouth on the floor at times, there was a lot of information which I will paraphrase:

Consumers don’t understand HOW food is produced, but they haven’t ever cared more about how it is produced.


Looking for some interesting facts on plant-based living? Well I have a few for you…

Plant-based living started in the Victorian times, it isn’t a ‘new-age’ thang.


Flexitarians are actually the most influential shoppers.

Innovators are always looking for ways to disrupt the UK food market

The session which I opted in for was ‘A Taste For The Future’, I won’t go into big details, but some interesting points again:

Anti-diet movement is moving fast, and there is a hugh interest from consumers who aren’t interested in diets, but just want to eat the right, nutricious foods, for their bodies

Mullenials are now looking for gut bio-healthy products more than ever before

1950/60’s food trends are relevant to now

We now have more food choice than ever, but consumers have less food cookery skills than ever

We have 7 opportunities in UK food ag for being a part of a consumers evening meal, but that is lessened by 1 being eaten out and 1 skipped. 3 of those will be unique evening meals and 2 repeated.

  • Is there a way in which we can ensure that UK food is on plates during those 5 mealtime opportunities? Do we need to look at marketing Great British food and making it sexy again?
  • Can we look at making Great British food quick, easy and tasty? Opportunities for innovators to come up with new products using our produce is definitely there, and consumers are extremely responsive.
  • A big key point – health is wealth, consumers see health as being wealthy.

I could keep going on, but I will leave it here, and say a final few points;

We have the most incredible industry, with some of the most incredible people working within it. I came away from the conference feeling extremely motivated, inspired, and ready to make a change, to make a wave within agriculture. I also felt extremely proud and honored to have been at the conference, it is an experience I will never forget, and I hope that it won’t be the last time that I get to attend.

So thank you to the NFU for inviting me, and sending me away with the most positive outlook.

Love, Cesca on the Farm x

Have I Got News For Ewe

2017 Goals

posted by Cesca January 1, 2017 0 comments

Let’s open with this…. Happy new year you beautiful people!

I’ve pondered over whether or not to set myself new years resolutions, whether I should really set myself something which I know I won’t get ahead and do. So why disappoint myself with ridiculous resolutions of not drinking alcohol for 12 months (I can hear cider and rum makers whine already), or lose a stone (winter coverage is handy all year round I heard), or travel around Sudan (I don’t know why Sudan, it just came to my head).


The consensus was that new years resolutions would be a wash out, so I thought ‘fuck it, no. But lets set myself some little goals to achieve’. Nothing big, nothing fancy, and nothing interesting by my thinking anyway.

  • Keep learning new skills. Whether it be cultivating or making pastry, I’ll learn, master and teach someone else.
  • Play guitar weekly. I don’t know why I stopped in the first place, it’s so soothing.
  • Visit places and people. Alone or with friends, I have places I want to see, and people I want to spend time with.
  • Dust off my snowboard. I don’t care if its just a skid down Manchester Snowdome, it’s getting dusted off and I’m falling on my arse.
  • Surf. I want to let the sea set me free and go face plant some waves.
  • Make time for things that really matter. Family/Friends/Myself, all deserve my time to be spent on them.
  • Keep healthy, body and mind. Because without those two, I won’t be able to do any of the above!
  • Seriousness is out the window. Life’s too short if 2016’s life losses are anything to go by, so why take life too serious. Live, laugh and love.

Wishing you all the best in 2017, I have a feeling it’s going to be a boomer of a year!

Don’t be afraid to share your new years resolutions or goals with me, I enjoy reading your comments :-)

Love, Cesca on the Farm x

Have I Got News For Ewe

Achievements For 2016

posted by Cesca December 13, 2016 2 Comments

I know it’s only the 13th of December, and usually people write a nostalgic blog post around the end of the month. But today I’ve had my first ‘quiet’ day for a long while, and whilst out doing my Christmas card rounds, I got in conversation with someone who said how far I’d come in the past few months.

I didn’t really think I’d done anything all that special, but then I thought back to all the things I’ve learnt, new skills I’ve picked up and realised that I’m maybe being a bit hard on myself and not giving myself enough credit. I’m very good at doubting myself and being very hard on myself (it’s something I need to work on).

So here goes the list of achievements for 2016, something positive to look back on and remember I’m not so bad after all…

  • Lambed my first flock of sheep.
  • Diagnosed a ewe with grass staggers before it was too late, and saved her.
  • Passed my trailer test.
  • Did my first trip to market with calves, and continue to.
  • Fixed my scraper tractor when dad wasn’t around to help.
  • Rolled my first fields.
  • Bought my first beef calf.
  • Finished my first two lambs.
  • Sold two lambs worth of meat.
  • I learnt how to plough a field properly.
  • I can now feed out on the Keenan on my own.
  • I got my first agricultural job.
  • I learnt how to classify Beef Shorthorns.
  • Bought my first rams for the flock.
  • Ran a dairy farm solo.
  • Learnt how to mix additive for the maize.
  • Successfully backed a grass trailer round a corner.
  • Made friends from Twitter, into ‘real-life’, meet them in person, friends.
  • Flew to Portugal solo.
  • Enrolled onto Entrepreneurs in Dairying.
  • Gave blood.
  • Learnt that it’s okay to not be okay.
  • Realised that sometimes just recognising you’re not okay and talking about it is the best thing you can do for yourself.

I know to most people these seem like normal things to know how to do, but you have to start somewhere and recognise that you’ve progressed from where you started out.

So here’s to you 2016, you’ve been a bastard and a best friend rolled into one. And I hope that 2017 brings some exciting new adventures with it and this time next year I’ll have another list of achievements to look back on!

Have a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you have a wonderful 2017! I’ll leave you with these…

2016 Snapshot


Love, Cesca on the Farm x

Have I Got News For Ewe

March On

posted by Cesca April 19, 2016 0 comments

I just want to start off by saying a big, massive, SORRY! I’ve been rather quiet and distracted from the blog for the past month, it’s been busy, and it’s about to get busier. I had a couple weeks off work in February which was a great time to get caught up on admin type tasks with the sheep, there’s always going to be bits to get done, but I’m getting there! In March we collected our two rams, Harry and Edwin, we’re over the moon with them. They’re polite chaps, and have been a nice addition to the flock. Fingers crossed they both perform well in the Autumn for us, as we’re extremely excited for some pure bred Wiltshire’s and Herdwick’s to arrive come Spring 2017.


Meet Harry & Edwin, our new Wiltshire Horn and Herdwick Rams 😊🐏

A photo posted by Cesca Beswick (@cesca_beswick) on

I’ve arranged a shearer to come and shear off the Herdys’ fleeces this May. It was a task I wasn’t looking forward to organising, I was afraid that with having a small flock no-one would want to come and do them. But hurrah – it’s all organised. Next year I’m hoping that we will be able to do them ourselves, once we’ve completed a course. We’re learning a hell of a lot, and will learn even more through time. Every day is a new day, and every day we learn something new. This means that every day I get more and more excited about building up this flock from scratch, it’s something we can be very proud of. The Herdwick’s have escaped from their field twice now. The first time they had escaped about 10 seconds before I pulled up to their field with their evening feed, so a rattle of the bucket and they were straight back in – Bl**dy sheep! I’ve been rattling the brains of a few stockmen/women the past few weeks, and I’ve been learning a hell of a lot just through their own experiences. So thank you – you all know who you are! My hands are cracked, beaten and sore. I’ve gotton to a point where they bleed and sting whenever I curl my fingers – ouch! So I’m hoping that now the days are getting longer, the warmth will come and my hands can finally heal. The most important part of this post? We’ve finally started lambing! The first was a ram lamb born early evening. The ewe had a struggle at first as he was coming out breach, but after a helping hand, he was out and ready to face the world.


The Herdwicks have started lambing 😍❤️ A photo posted by Cesca Beswick (@cesca_beswick) on

Windy day! #farmlife #Sheep

Why Do I Do, What I Do?

posted by Cesca February 23, 2016 0 comments

I was recently asked ‘So, why do you do what you do?’ in regards to my lifestyle, my job and general, well, me-ness. And the question stopped me in my tracks completely. I was stumped as to how to answer that question, and once I’d thought about it, I knew the answer.

My job and lifestyle are very much reflective of each other. Most wouldn’t think that working as a Digital Marketing Consultant and a lifestyle of a farmer have anything in common, but it really does.

I love my job, I seriously couldn’t love it any more than I do.

I am so lucky in the fact that I work for one of the oldest digital marketing agencies in the UK, that was the first to go into Search Engine Optimisation and Paid Search. This in turn means that I work with some of the brightest minds in digital marketing, and every day it inspires me to be better and do better.

I learn something new every day, my brain is always absorbing new information about the wider world of digital marketing or my clients. I really do enjoy learning new things, whether it be how to implement scripts into my PPC campaigns or learning what is new in marketing.

I am constantly setting new goals for my clients campaigns, and making sure I meet those goals takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Not only that, I set myself new goals. This week I became AdWords Qualified, I ticked another goal off my personal career list.

I handle data constantly, and analyse it until I am blue in the face.

Which is where it brings me to my lifestyle of a farmer. We handle data constantly. Whether it is measuring out the right amount of feed per animal to make sure they’re gaining the right amount of weight, or looking at worm counts in their feces, or looking at how much K, P or N we need to spray. We’re analysing data to gain better results.

I look at my flock and think to myself ‘if I had to sell them now, right this second, how would I do it?’ and I know that with my marketing skills I could come up with a wild and wacky way of advertising them and finding them their next owner. And for that, I’m pretty proud of my marketing brain.

We’re always challenging our breeding. ‘Did I choose the right ram for that ewe? Could I have put her with a better ram to ensure the offspring is of breed standard?’. We never know that answer until the little critter is in this big wide world, but by thinking about these elements, we better ourselves year on year.

As farmers we often wear many hats, and I think it’s a gift. The more time I see inspirational farmers on Twitter and Facebook, it makes me proud to have been aquatinted with them. And whether they realise it or not, they’re on a journey of branding, business building, awareness and ultimately, marketing themselves. I think that’s pretty amazing in itself.

Where are you going with this Beswick?

I had a week and a half off work to get up to speed ready for lambing the Herdwicks and get everything prepared. The time off definitely gave me time to really think over the data I’m gaining from the Herdys, I couldn’t make a graph out of it, but it’s tangible data for me.

I’ve set myself some goals for 12 months time. The goals are personal career goals, but also goals for the flock and herd. I’m sure when I feel I’ve lost my way from time to time I’ll refer back to this post for a kick up the backside, but for now, I’d better get my s**t together!


Where it all began…

posted by Cesca January 19, 2016 0 comments

It might help if you all new a little bit about me.

I was born and raised in the Staffordshire Moorlands with my big brother, mum and (late) dad on a dairy farm, which had been built by my great-granddad. I’m from a long line of farmers, which dates back to, well a very long time ago; it’s something I’m extremely proud of!

It’s my heritage.

My dad was the youngest of five, a large farming family, he never moved far, in fact he never moved at all, and lived and worked the land of the farms built up by his dad and granddad. They have always been dairy, sheep and in the past even produced potatoes on the high moorlands.

My mum is the eldest of three from Berwick-upon-Tweed, a real hill-lass. My granda was the head electrical engineer for a big cement firm and landed a job down in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and eventually they moved up to Staffordshire, which is of course when she met my dad.

Unfortunately when I was very young my dad died, my mum, the strongest and most incredible woman I’ve ever known, carried on the dairy farm an met one of the greatest influences of my farming career, my step-dad Ian.

Cesca at 4 years oldWe moved down to the flatlands of Cheshire, in-tow with us; my pony Gizmo, our dog Julie, our cat Tessa and three Holsteins, which my mum was very fond of and called them her best. I never really understood why they were her best until I was much older and started to have my own ‘bests’. My best is a real softie; she likes to be milked last so that when we walk her back down to the shed she can have a fuss and a good rub.

Farming is engrained into every inch of me.

I’ve always had a love for cattle, especially the Aberdeen Angus which we rear for beef, it’s a breed I’ve always had a lot of love for and I’ll never forget our first Aberdeen Angus bull, Equator, he was an absolute beaut.

My mum has always encouraged us to make the most of education, and I went off to Staffordshire University and studied Product Design Engineering – you weren’t expecting that were you! I find structures, building things and anything hands on fascinating, so when I was accepted onto the course I was over the moon.

After gaining a 2:1 BA Hons in 2012 I went on to exploring the world of Digital Marketing and worked for a digital marketing agency, saving up any scrap of money that I could, this was for what I called ‘the bigger picture’.

I knew it wasn’t possible to live and work on the family farm, so I made sure to learn as much as I could on the weekends, and buckle down during the week learning some very different skills to what I know on the farm.

After discussing getting a few sheep to keep the grass down on a paddock which is for our pig, Frankie, I took the plunge and bought 4 pedigree Wiltshire Horn in June 2015, from there the sheep obsession has grown.

I am digital.

I’m a Digital Marketing Manager for a company based just outside of Crewe, Cheshire. Digital Marketing has been a passion of mine for over 5 years now, and I’m proud to do a wonderful job of it too!


Love, Cesca on the Farm x