Nestled in the Warwickshire countryside is one of Meadow Quality’s long-standing customers, Robert Fox.
Robert Fox’s 22-year relationship with MQ is just part of his established career in farming. Growing up on the family farm in Oxhill, Warwickshire, farming has been Robert’s life from a very young age, inspired and supported by his father.
Robert is now a 2nd generation tenant at his farm in Kineton, working alongside his own son, Albert, farming both livestock and arable. The father and son team works well, but Robert and Albert find joy in different areas of the job.
Robert’s preference centres around working with his livestock. As part of the Waitrose scheme, he has approximately 500 fattening cattle, consisting of Aberdeen Angus and Herefords, with a ratio of 60% steers and 40% heifers. Since the closure of Banbury Livestock Market in 1998, Robert now buys 90% of his livestock through Meadow Quality, commenting that “the cattle are good quality, disease free and seem to grow on very well”.
Robert buys his livestock in February, removing the worry of pneumonia. He buys cattle at 14-months old, ready for them to go straight out to pasture. During Summer, Robert introduces feed management, getting his livestock accustomed to human contact and vehicles. One month before finishing, all cattle are brought in to be hardened off on silage and grain.
When it comes to feed and bedding, the farm is self-sufficient. Robert and Albert combine the beef enterprise with the arable. The farm has an additional 200-acres of permanent pasture, used purely for grazing. Robert grows winter wheat, spring barley and occasionally beans – for the grain-based diet the cattle are on.
Robert has ambitions for the farm. When asked where he hopes to be in 5 years, his response was to have 1,000 head of cattle and to remain self-sufficient. He plans to give the reins of the arable operation to Albert and focus more on the cattle side of the business. Beyond this, he plans to hand the entire farm over to Albert, making him the 3rd generation tenant of the Kineton farm.