Fourth generation beef and arable farmer embraces technology and streamlines farming processes -



Fourth generation beef and arable farmer embraces technology and streamlines farming processes

Meg Ahern


| Mar 11, 2024

James Herrick - calf

Meet James Herrick, a 4th generation farmer, who is farming in partnership with his parents, Joanne and Eddie. Together, they operate a thriving 140 suckler herd, along with over 450 acres of arable land. Nestled in Leicestershire, England, they have farmed the land since 1961 when James’ grandfather first acquired the farm after moving from a tenanted farm on a local estate.

For the Herricks about half of their herd are Stabilisers, the other half is made up of older Blue X and Angus X cows. They run a grass focused system, which requires meticulous grass measurement and allocation. The cattle are moved to fresh fields every day and all young stock that are not destined for breeding are finished on farm. James is happy with the current position the farm is in, their current goals are to improve the grazing platform through improved fencing and water sources. Going forward, James envisions a future as a suckler specialists, transitioning away from arable farming.

Baldy’s Farm YouTube

In addition to their traditional farming practices, James embarked on a digital journey about two years ago, creating “Baldy’s Farm” on YouTube.

James Herrick - cattle

The channel began quite organically, James started uploading one video a week on the run up to Christmas and the channel began to grow from there. James now produces a captivating high-quality video every week where he discusses their daily operations, how they challenge industry norms and approach different situations on the farm. The platform has become invaluable for sharing ideas and receiving feedback from diverse perspectives.

“The engagement I get from the public is amazing”.

James shared with us some of the exciting projects he has coming up, with the prospects of a new podcast on the horizon, as well as agricultural audio book projects.

Using cloud-based technology to save time

Saving time on the farm is important for James, especially as he and his wife, Kate, have a 7-month-old son, Wilfred, which means life can get very busy. Enter Herdwatch, a cloud-based software designed to save farmers time. Adopting Herdwatch about 12 months ago was a seamless process that revolutionised farm operations for the Herricks. Coming to grasp with a new software was easy, with James praising the user-friendly interface and the exceptional support from the Herdwatch team

James Herrick in field with cattle
“I have always found the customer care team to be extremely helpful”.

From tracking medicine usage to recording breeding and AI data, Herdwatch simplifies every aspect of farm record-keeping. For James, the ability to register calves as soon as they are born, out on the farm, from his phone, even amidst the bustle of farm life, has been a game-changer. Gone are the days of moving paperwork from sheds to the farm office, and even important information ending up in the washing machine!

“It’s extremely easy and convenient when there is so much going on”.

For the Herricks, Herdwatch has been an invaluable tool when it comes to farm audits. James reflects on how it has changed their approach and attitude towards inspections. Knowing that the inspector can access everything they need in an instant through Herdwatch has not only streamlined the process but also alleviated a significant amount of stress for the family.

“It has taken a lot of the stress out of farm inspections knowing that I can get everything they need with the click of a button”.
Herdwatch screen groups

Using Herdwatch has become like second nature to James, one of his favourite features is the ability to create groups on the app, such as bulling heifers, cull cows, or fattening bulls. James particularly likes this aspect of the app as it empowers him to manage his herd more efficiently and easily find cattle which speeds up the process when batch treating animals.

While navigating the complexities of a thriving farm business, and raising their young son, efficiency and convenience become paramount. By embracing digital innovation alongside traditional farming practices, the Herricks have been able to streamline their farm business, giving them more time to concentrate on what is most important to them, both on and off farm.

“I would 100% recommend Herdwatch to other farms, especially those who want all their records in one place, that are easy to access and simple to input”.

You too can become more efficient by joining James, and the 21,000 other farmers, using Herdwatch today, by simply downloading the app now

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