Skipton Auction Mart has sold its first prime lamb under a new fund-raising initiative on behalf of national farming charity, the Addington Fund.
The single Beltex-cross lamb was donated by Craven Cattle Marts chairman Anthony Hewetson, who farms locally in Bank Newton, and sold for £135 to Alan Beecroft, of Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster.
The entire proceeds from the sale – CCM also waived its commission – went to the Addington Fund, which offers a vital lifeline and safety net to farmers in desperate need of housing or emergency funds.
It was the first charity to lamb to go under the hammer as part of Skipton Auction Mart’s new initiative in support of the Addington Fund’s ‘Tup 1 Ewe’ fund-raising campaign, through which sheep farmers are able to donate live sheep through participating auction markets around England and Wales, and nominate the sale proceeds to the charity.
The scheme, in which sheep sport purpose-designed rosettes so potential purchasers can clearly see they are being sold in aid of the Addington Fund, was devised by Craven Cattle Marts general manager Jeremy Eaton. He said: “Other vendors are welcome offer lambs at future sales for this extremely worthwhile cause.”
The lamb was sold on Skipton’s October prime show day, when Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop also claimed the prime lamb champions, a pen of five 42kg home-bred Beltex-cross from North Craven’s Mick Hewitt, of Giggleswick. Mr Beecroft paid the day’s top price of £138 per head for the title winners.
On the same day, Mr Beecroft, who is now a regular weekly buyer of primestock at the North Yorkshire venue, also took home a brace a prime cattle, among them the second prize Blue-cross steer from Threshfield’s Charles and Richard Kitching.
The champion prime lambs have now gone on sale at the Lancaster Leisure Park farm shop, while meat from the prime cattle will be fully matured for up to three weeks to ensure it is in perfect condition for customers’ tables.
Mr Beecroft said: “Once again we are sourcing the very best meat that money can buy for our growing band of customers – top quality lamb and beef roasts, steaks, chops and all the other popular cuts. Absolutely nothing will go to waste.”
He added: “We were also keen to buy the lamb donated in aid of the Addington Fund, as it a very deserving charity that does sterling work on behalf of hard-hit farmers across the nation.”
Ian Bell, chief executive of the Addington Fund, said: “We always get tremendous support from livestock marts and farmers and this is a great start to the renewed impetus we are now giving to our ‘Tup 1 Ewe’ fund-raising campaign. Our thanks go to CCM, its chairman and the farm shop buyer. We can only hope others will take up the gauntlet on our behalf.”