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Energy Now Expo fundraising tractor drive for Forage Aid

Friday, February 6, 2015

The drive aims to smash the £10,000 target set for the Forage Aid fundraising. This emergency response initiative delivers animal feed to livestock producers in times of need.

JCB have donated a new Fastrac 300 tractor for the run and Bailey’s have provided a silage trailer which will be draped with huge banners either side – and is bound to be a spectacle. Both companies did much to support Forage Aids’ efforts in the area, last year.

James Winslade, who was affected by the floods last year, and is behind some of the Forage Aid efforts, will be starting the drive off. He will travel along the A38 towards Bristol, heading to the first Pit stop, at 10.45, at an AD plant, named Y-Farm, Manor Farm Dairy, Downhead. There, James will pick up refreshments, and a generous donation will be presented to Forage Aid by AWS Power, the company who installed the AD plant.

Graham Glasper, a farm manager who has helped Forage Aid immeasurably in the last year, will take over the reins from James, and head up the A38 towards Gloucester, to the next renewable energy stop, a wind turbine site, installed by Capture Energy, at Wapley Hill, Westerleigh, south Gloucester, at approximately 1.00 pm.

Andrew Ward will take over the driving after Westerleigh, heading north, on the A38 past Almondsbury, Berkeley and Haresfield.

After an overnight stop off, Ed Ford, from Forage Aid, will take over the drive up the A40, towards Huntley and Ross-on-Wye and on towards south Wales. It will stop off at the new PlanET biogas plant owned by D.J & H.M Morgan in Hereford, at 9.45 am, on Tuesday 10 February, to collect the company’s donation, and a donation from Pinstone Communications, the Agrcultural PR company working with Energy Now Expo.

At Hereford it’ll head towards Leominster, then to Ludlow, through to Dorrington and onto Shrewsbury, for the next stop. At 11.45 am, the tractor will stop at Hazel Hollow, Stapleton, where EPS Energy has installed all types of renewable energy, and will be handing over a Forage Aid donation. Next, it will stop off at Buttery Farm, Kinnersley, at approximately 12.45 pm, where Ed Ford will collect a donation from Terravesta, who work with the farm to grow miscanthus, the sustainable fuel resource for biomass.

Finally, it will turn eastwards toward Telford on the A5, towards the Energy Now Expo, collecting donations on the way.

On Wednesday 11th February, at 11.00 am, the tractor and trailer will be driven into the Energy Now Expo by Anglia Farmers chief executive Clarke Willis, who will present giant cheque for a whopping £15,000 to Andrew Ward, Ed Ford and James Winslade of Forage Aid.

“Young Farmers from Gloucester, Hereford, Somerset and Shropshire will also be driving some of the route” says Essex County Chairman Ed Ford. “They’re keen to see funds raised for Forage Aid, and have been behind it from the start.”

Energy Now Expo organisers will donate 50p per visitor to the show to the charity, and the total will be announced at the Expo.

Energy Now Expo director, and the brains behind the fundraising drive, David Jacobmeyer feels renewable energy is a natural link to Forage Aid. “The link with the Energy Now Expo and Forage Aid is an obvious one, with farmers looking at how to weatherproof their units, to help safeguard their businesses in the future, especially in times of crisis and looking for reliable new income streams.

“For example, a well thought out renewable energy scheme, such as solar PV or a biomass heater, will enable its owner to be more energy self-sufficient, providing power and/or heat throughout the year, even during horrendous storms,” says David.

Forage Aid is not just about providing feed for stock, explains the man behind the hugely successful operation, Lincolnshire farmer Andrew Ward.

“We want to be ready to help in any emergency,” he says. “The pledged donations that we are picking up next week on this run will enable us to have funds that we can use to step in quickly and help farmers in need when necessary.”