Farmer elected president of the British Charolais Cattle Society

Local farmer Ralph Needham has been elected president of the British Charolais Cattle Society.

A former society chairman and founding member of the society, Ralph, along with son Alistair, farms almost 1,400 acres near Louth.

In addition to their closed herd of 200 pedigree poll Charolais they grow wheat, barley, oats and oil seed rape.

He said: “I feel deeply honoured that the British Charolais Cattle Society, in their 51st year, should elect me as their president. Over the past half century I have witnessed the way that breeders have developed the British Charolais to its present pre-eminent position and made it the most successful beef breed in the UK.

“The superior qualities of weight and conformation, confirmed by Breedplan data, make the breed an irresistible choice for commercial beef producers.

“Since introducing Charolais cattle into the Cockerington herd in 1967, those very qualities of size and fleshing that the breed had to offer were immediately apparent to me.”

Cockerington Charolais cattle are in demand across the UK and further afield, including substantial sales over the past six months to County Wexford, County Armagh and South Devon, where new herds were formed from Cockerington bred cattle.

In addition to his work with the herd, Mr Needham achieved success with his largely autobiographical book Conscience Hill published in 2011.

This Autumn he is publsihing Destiny’s Talisman, the first of a trilogy of novels about the fortunes of five generations of a farming family during the 19th century.