County Show Characters: The dairy farmer

Farmer Tom Barrett
Farmer Tom Barrett

Dairy farmer Tom Barrett spent the night before the show sleeping in a chair next to his Rettbar Holstein cows and didn’t get much sleep as a result but it was all worth it as he picked up a clutch of prizes.

His cows won six first prizes including exhibitor bred champion, best udder in show and champion in the local class as well as reserve champion.

Recalling his sleepless night he said: “I was keeping them clean, picking up the poos as they dropped so that the cows wouldn’t get too dirty, but I didn’t feel too tired in the morning, the adrenalin kept me going.”

Mr Barrett milks 100 cows at his farm in Tingewick and took 11 along to enter in various classes.

After they had been judged he took them along to the mobile milking parlour at the showground to milk them in the middle of the afternoon.

He said: “We got here at 5pm on the night before the show.

“We had milked them at home before we came.

“They are not milked on the morning of the show to make sure they have a nice full bag when showing.

“After they’ve been judged they are brought to the mobile parlour to be milked and then they will be milked again when we get home.”

Mr Barrett said their milk yield would probably be a bit down the day after the show due to the change in their routine but would quickly return to normal.

He said: “We come to the show to advertise the herd but mainly to help with public awareness, to let people see where their milk comes from and to see that farmers do care very much for their animals.”