Jo and Andy Mear are re establishing the Seifton herd of Longhorns which was started by Jo’s father John Turley who retired in 2017. They explain:
‘We got married in August 2018 and were fortunate enough to be given some money as a wedding present. We thought long and hard about what we could do with the money and eventually bought our first Longhorn cow from the Society’s sale at Worcester in May 2019 purchasing Chalkney Voice and her bull calf. This was quickly followed in July with the purchase of three more in-calf heifers. All was quiet until the availability of a bit more land from Jo’s father when we purchased another eight cows and three heifer calves from the Society website; this led to the purchase of our stock bull Dunstall Saxon from the Dunstall herd in Derbyshire in early May 2020 bringing us to our present total of 12 cows, 11 calves and yearlings and a bull!
We were drawn to the Longhorns due to their placid nature and a growing demand for the quality meat that these beautiful animals make. Also the fact that we both have very full time jobs taking us away from the farm for long periods of the day we needed very easy care animals and so far our girls haven’t disappointed us with only having to assist in one calving so far and even then it was backwards so was totally understandable. We also want to try and keep the cows out for as long as is reasonably practical and even with the horrendous winter we had this year we managed to keep our girls out until early November and they managed to mostly start going out by the end of March The hardiness of the Longhorns their good mothering ability and quiet nature allow us to be able to run our few cows with little expensive equipment allowing us to concentrate on looking after our girls mostly on weekends and evenings.
We are hoping to eventually start selling our meat through a box scheme and we are fortunate enough to have a family member who owns the local slaughter house and also two butchers shops all within seven miles of the farm. We have been having enquiries on when our first cattle will be ready so we are seeing the demand for Longhorn beef growing. For us we feel the future is bright and our family farming future is firmly based around our Longhorn cows’
Jo & Andrew Mear, June 2020