Yesterday, Stuart Anderson joined CLA Regional Coordinator Jan Hewes, and CLA Communications Manager Natalie Oakes, to meet CLA member Mr Simon Bedell at Bishops Castle Livestock Market for the Tom Gittins Cup sale.
Livestock markets really are the hubs of rural communities, bringing farmers together and giving them the opportunity to do business while catching up with their peers. Located at the heart of Bishops Castle, this market is no exception with a long history of dating back to before the first world war.
Stuart initially spent time with Mr Bedell perusing the cattle and meeting other buyers and sellers, some of whom had travelled from as far away as Yorkshire and North Wales.
Stuart was keen to hear about the inner workings of the market and what challenges those involved were facing in business and their communities.
He then went onto meet the owner of local machinery retailers, Bryan G Jones LTD. Having been trading for 43 years and now run by a second generation family member, who explained that trading has been challenging, particularly with the move from the Single Farm Payment which has left some farmers unsure of what grants will be available to them.
Stuart also met the local high street butcher in his shop which was busy with trade and the local independent vets where the subject of Bovine TB was discussed, before heading back to the market to see Mr Bedell successfully sell his cattle and meet further members of the community.