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Farmers see behind the scenes of Norfolk organic farm to celebrate NFU centenary

PUBLISHED: 10:08 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:08 23 May 2019

Farmers toured the Houghton Estate, including its new dairy enterprise, as part of NFU Norfolk�s centenary celebrations. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFU

Farmers toured the Houghton Estate, including its new dairy enterprise, as part of NFU Norfolk�s centenary celebrations. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFU

Brian Finnerty / NFU

About 100 farmers went behind the scenes of a major organic food grower near Fakenham as part of the ongoing centenary celebrations for the Norfolk branch of the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

The event at the Houghton Estate, organised by the NFU's Mid Norfolk, Watton and Hingham branches, included tours of the diverse farm's enterprises, including its new dairy unit, land let for outdoor vegetables, arable crops, a sheep flock, pedigree beef herd, deer park and organic pigs.

It also raised almost £1,000 for charities, which will be shared between the East Anglian Air Ambulance and farming charity RABI (the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution).

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The guests heard that Houghton's 3,200 acre farm began a staged conversion to organic farming in 2001 under the leadership of Lord Cholmondeley, who wanted to work with nature and have a sustainable business with better rotations and a true mixed farm.

NFU Norfolk chairman Nick Deane said: "This is a stunning estate and a wonderful setting in which to mark a significant milestone in NFU Norfolk's history. I would like to thank Lord Cholmondeley for allowing us to visit and everyone who has made the visit possible."

He added that the NFU had been formed in turbulent times and was needed now more than ever before, as uncertainty continued over Brexit and the drafting of the Agriculture Bill.

The next event to mark the NFU Norfolk centenary is on June 1, when Henry Blofeld is guest speaker at a dinner organised by East Norfolk branch at the Boathouse, Ormesby Broad.

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