Geoff Goff was a larger than life Yorkshire farmer who died far too early, finished off by his “Parkers” – Park Drive cigarettes which he somehow still managed to get long after they were withdrawn from general sale.
He was a livestock man through and through and by his own good farming practice which grew from nothing to owning two high yielding dairy herds with semen from his home bred bulls going into AI.
He loved show horses and showing ….. and was one of the first to breed pheasant poults for big estate shoots, and was also a pioneer of specially planted cover crops for the birds including “Jerusalem artichokes” which when the season ended were rooted up by free range pigs cleaning & fertilising the land to be rotated back into grazing or arable.
For no other reasons, except it made sense to him, Geoff Goff’s ideas were always Eco-Friendly in a time when it was anything but, indeed at one time he was said to be the only farmer in the county to be planting hedgerows when everyone else was ripping them out. One day he was advised to “get with it” and industrialise his business, he thought about it for a while and then took over the controlling interest in a smart provincial night club which was highly successful for quite a few years, when asked why, he said it was for agricultural reasons, not only did they purchase all their beef locally but he absolutely loved the Dolcelatte cheese they served.
As a young man Geoff Goff was very friendly with a forward thinking Vet from Sheffield who made up, what he called, his B-Mixture for giving to horses and all animals he treated. Geoff Goff swore by it, if any horse, cow, sheep, goat, bird or even deer was sick he would administer his B-Mixture like the father of the bride in “My Fat Greek Wedding” did with his Windex cure-all. The B-Mixture was a comprehensive blend of B complex vitamins high in Biotin and Folic Acid long before Roche, the giant Swiss chemical company, published bulletins on the necessity for extra Biotin and Folic Acid in the diet of performance horses. We reminded ourselves of this, when the other day, we made up some B-Mixture for a pony going to have to race on consecutive weekends because of delays due to the bad weather.
Geoff Goff’s favourite saying was “All your geese are swans until you take them to market” and would tell you not to set your own standards but let the competition do that for you. He liked his stock to be in “near show’ condition and always paying particular attentions to what he called his ‘barometers’ namely eye, haircoat, hooves and the leg scale of birds very closely.
What Geoff Goff liked was quality and reminded everyone that “Pedigree keeps its promise’ and that should always help you avoid temptation when times were hard, as he’d remind you that in such times rubbish gets even cheaper but “there is no cost to nothing”.