Our farming business started in 1969 with the tenancy of The Riding Farm Bellingham and the marriage of John and Elizabeth.
The Riding is a 933 acre hill farm which is still part of the business. This farm was extensively improved through the 70’s following the example of the local MAFF experimental farm.
Hawkwell Farm Stamfordham was purchased in 1975, This was a 100 acre arable farm near Stamfordham.
In 1976 John attended the Worshipful Company of Farmers course on Advanced Farm Business Management. This course fundamentally changed the thinking behind the business. The course members still meet annually and will be in Northumberland in 2017.
Later in 1976 the tenancy of Camphill Farm near Barrasford was taken on, 560 acre marginal stock farm.
In 1981 we made a big family move going to Longwitton Farm, still the business base today. This was an 1160 acre mixed arable and livestock farm and has since increased by 500 acres.
This was an important time in our family life to consider education. We had both been to boarding school and had found it positive.
Susan went off to Polam Hall in Darlington and then on to Keele University to study law. Susan is a solicitor and has 3 children.
Son John went to prep school at Mowden Hall near Corbridge then went to Sedbergh School in south Cumbria. He notably played first team rugby for the school in the same team as World Cup winner Will Greenwood!
After school he went on to do an Honours Degree at Agriculture at Newcastle University. The Newcastle “Agrics” still have an annual BBQ each June on our farm with much water and beer involved. John played first team rugby for Morpeth and Northumberland as a Hooker. He was a keen Young Farmers Club member. As Chairman of Cambo young farmers the club made it the final three of the national “Club of Year” competition in 1997. Goodfellow Farming is a current proud sponsor of Cambo’s sports tops. John also has 3 children.
John took over the management of the farming business when he was 25 as father went off to be an hotelier at Otterburn Tower.
The farming and contracting business has expanded greatly in recent years. Two farms have been purchased and share farming and tenancies have been established on two local estates.
The business operates on over 1200 ha of arable land 1200ha of grass land, as well as considerable contracting work.
At the time of writing the business has 14 Landlords and 12 employees.