Say ‘hey boy’ to Charlie Cormode! But if you’re from the Manx farming community, he won’t need an introduction because you will already know about his family’s amazing history as livestock farmers which spans nearly a century.
Cormodes have farmed at Curragh Beg near Bride since the early 1900s, which makes Charlie the third generation. That strong Manx family tradition has continued with Charlie’s daughter Jen Cannan and her husband Mike, granddaughter Katie, and Jen’s sister Debbie and her husband Richard. Despite not coming from an agricultural background, Richard found that he was a natural farmer and pitched in to help in recent years before he and Debbie went travelling in Europe.
The family’s farming story began with John William Cormode (Charlie’s Grandad) who rented Curragh Beg, and later handed over the reins to Charlie’s parents William and Winifred Cormode who bought the farm in 1959. Over the generations many awards have been won, including Charlie’s dad winning the Southern Show with a Hereford Bull called Blackwell Ocean.
Curragh Beg was originally a dairy farm, but changed to beef and sheep around 15 years ago. Today it’s home to beef cattle, suckler cows, and sheep. They also grow barley to feed their beef cattle, and plant winter green crops for their sheep.
Jen says: “Curragh Beg is very much a family run farm where everyone pulls together. Katie is very keen to carry on the family tradition and has just finished her A levels, with two of her subjects being agriculture. She is currently following her passion for farming by working at Curragh Beg, and milking cows at another farm. Our favourite time is when we’re all shattered after long hours of lambing and calving, and then look out into the fields to see new life skipping and playing. It’s moments like that which make all of the hard work worthwhile, and make us realise just how lucky we are.”
When the work is done, Jen loves sitting down to a family meal with her favourite being delicious Manx lamb with homemade mint sauce, and Manx new potatoes and vegetables. Katie enjoys it too, but of course tastes change from one generation to the next, so one her other favourite meals is that modern Manx delicacy chips, cheese and gravy!
Curragh Beg is one of 220 Manx farms that supply us with super tasty, top quality meat which is enjoyed by customers both on and off-Island. Thanks to farmers like Charlie, Jen and Katie and all the family, when you tuck into an Isle of Man Meats’ Sunday roast you’ll know it’s from a trusted source that’s traceable from pasture to plate – and you’ll be getting a rich taste of Manx tradition too.