The Field Day

14 July 2024
Fobbing, Essex
This years Field Day is by kind invitation of George Young at Fobbing, Essex

Field Day visit 14th July 2024


Curtis Farm, Fobbing, Essex, SS17 9JJ


George Young, aka farming George, farms in partnership with his wife and parents at Curtis Farm in Fobbing, South Essex.  When George returned to the farm eleven years ago it was an arable farm, with bought in steers grazing some Essex Wildlife Trust conservation grazing as his father’s hobby.  Now the farm has shifted to an organic beef suckler unit, following agroecological principals - farming with nature.


The Fobbing herd was established in 2020 with eleven in-calf Pedigree Red Poll cows.  An early abortion led to George meeting farm vet Mia Ellis, who has since become his wife.  Neospora was discovered, and with Mia’s influence, the herd is now high herd health for all five of the major cattle diseases, with the only remaining Neospora animals as fatteners.  The herd was grown with additional Red Polls, but in 2022 Pedigree Beef Shorthorns were also bought in with the idea to run both pedigree and hybrids.  George is also dabbling with some bull breeding.  The Fobbing herd is now around 90 strong, currently breeding around 20 cows in the autumn and 20 cows in the spring.  The aim is to double that to 80 breeding cows.


At present, cows are out wintered, but the plan is to move to a hybrid system with some animals housed and others left out.  Cattle are paddock grazed, moving on every 3 - 7 days, dependant on the time of year and other circumstances.  The farm is also investing in a permanent handling system to make the management and drafting of cows quicker, simpler, safer, higher welfare, and most importantly: enjoyable!


Over the rest of the farm, there is a 50acre agroforestry trial field that is three and a half years old.  Plus a 50acre area spanning through the middle of the farm termed a ‘Wild Seam’, interconnecting the farmland providing a permanent habitat for wildlife.  Future plans include extensive woodland and fields of wood-pasture to provide protection to the cows over the future years.


There are several Hotels & Bed & Breakfast accommodation in the area, particularly in Basildon which is the nearest town.