Bishop Martin Seeley visited harvest at Crowfield, Suffolk recently to ride on a combine harvester and discuss the harvest with farmer James Nunn and his father David.
David Barker President of the Suffolk Agriculture Association said the invitation to the bishop arose after a conversation at a Suffolk Show Dinner when Bishop Martin expressed a wish to ride on a combine harvester.
David Barker said "I was keen to follow up Bishop Martin's request because the harvest is intricately linked with the church and the bond between farming and the church is inseparable. The industry is incredibly grateful for all the support given by the church and we wanted the bishop who sits in the House of Lords to have a close insight to the harvest from a modern perspective".
James Nunn (Suffolk Show Deputy Director in 2022) and his father David, invited the Bishop to ride in their John Deere combine harvester. Driven by James Scowen, Bishop Martin was provided with an insight into the operation, as James explained in detail the advanced technology that allows the machine to be guided by satellite so the machine maximises its work with no small bouts in the process. The machine has a remarkable feature in that when a tractor pulls alongside to unload the combine takes over the unloading synchronises the tractor and regulates the speed and position to fill the load.
Bishop Martin said before the ride he had a mixture of excitement and trepidation; the machine is huge he exclaimed. Bishop Martin also said he was very keen to learn about the machine and the incredible technology involved.
After almost half an hour riding with operator James, the Bishop said he was overwhelmed by the technology and the skills involved by the operator.
Bishop Martin said, "To see the wheat flowing into the machine was a remarkable sight the computer regulates the height of the cutter bar and using belts the grain goes into a central tunnel from which the wheat is threshed leaving a good clean sample in the tank to be unloaded"
Bishop Martin continued, "James Scowen is one of many highly skilled farm operators and it is so important that the industry attracts young people to continue the vital role of proving food from our farms. In my role in the House of Lords, I will take every opportunity to champion British Farmers and challenge those in power to maximise food from our farms".