Harold Beer ran Great Shortridge Farm at Warkleigh, near Umberleigh in North Devon jointly with his two brothers, Anthony and Fred. The 600-acre farm in the Taw Valley ranges from deep alluvial soil at the bottom to thin, stony ground on the hilltops. Until recent years the Beer brothers ran a dairy herd with 60 milkers and a beef unit. The farm still has Mule ewes and they grow cereals, potatoes and rootcrops.
Harold’s father was a devotee of Ferguson tractors and equipment, buying and using many of the examples shown in the series of programmes called ‘Ferguson on the Farm’. This popular, best-selling series was conceived and organised by Harold.
Harold always shared this enthusiasm and was joined in this by his wife, Eileen; together they were staunch supporters of the Ferguson Club of which Harold served a term as Chairman.
Harold died on 26 January 2013, aged 66. He is survived by Eileen and their two daughters, Jean and Gemma.