Pasture Promise Meetings

Next week I am holding the first in a series of three meetings to bring together Free Range Dairy farmers who have made the Pasture Promise, with two further meetings planned in the Midlands and South West England, where we have the biggest numbers of farmers signed up. I am keen to establish regional groups…

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Make time for grass

I have to admit getting this grassland management thing right is quiet hard work. I had a few days off last weekend and spent the whole time worrying about how far the electric fence was being moved each day and which field the cows were in. Just yesterday I made a really important decision and…

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Party for the Animals

Whilst visiting Amsterdam with some friends last weekend I came across a crowd of people carrying some interesting placards with images of cows and other farm animals. It turned out that the people taking part were protesting against the growth of intensive livestock farming in The Netherlands and were members of Partij voor De Dieren…

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What a turn out for turnout

Some football clubs get average attendances of around 10,000 spectators to watch them play each week. Not the biggest crowd for a football match, but can you imagine that number of people coming to your farm to watch your cows being turned out to grass? Well that’s what happened on a farm near Gothenburg in…

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Learning in the field

Last week I hosted a ‘Reseeding Day’ at our farm, organised by The British Grassland Society, DairyCo and EBLEX. The event gave farmers a chance to learn about evaluating the productivity of their pasture following one of the wettest years I can remember and provided tips on reseeding grass and variety selection.   Soil scientist,…

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Tunes to move your hooves

The recent sunshine has a put a spring in everyone’s step, including our cows. Here are a few top tunes that are on our herds’ playlist this week.   Jerusalem – Sir Hubert Parry And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England’s mountain green? And was the holy Lamb of God On England’s…

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Thanks to BBC Lancs

My thanks to Stephen Lowe for giving me such a great opportunity to explain what Free Range dairy is all about on his BBC Radio Lancashire show on Sunday. We are very lucky to have a number of committed members in the county and today’s exposure for the initiative was down to Free Range Dairy…

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Wake up to milk!

  I read a headline on the Farmers Weekly website this morning saying “Dairies must pay more to secure supplies” – a headline that has been repeated in the farming press for years, a headline that is true and one that I fully support. But, why, despite all the protests, the public support, the fears…

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Reducing saturated fats in milk

An article on the Farmers Weekly website highlights how milk producers supplying Marks & Spencer are supplementing cow diets with extruded Linseed to reduce saturated fat levels in milk. The article states: “Milk saturated fat levels naturally drop when cows go out to grass and increase at housing. This natural fluctuation is due to oil…

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Grass reseeding day

Next Wednesday (1st May) we are hosting a grass reseeding day jointly organised by the British Grassland Society, DairyCo and EBLEX, at Walk Farm. Two weeks ago I was having nightmares about having no grass to show anyone and the field we plan to use as a car park being too wet to carry anything.…

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Free Range Dairy on the radio

I have been invited to discuss the objectives of Free Range Dairy with Steven Lowe on BBC Radio Lancashire this Sunday (28th April) at around 12.45pm. We have had good support for the initiative from Lancashire and I am planning a further meeting for members in the north-west later next month. I am really encouraged…

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Farmers Guardian interview

Last Friday’s issue of the Farmers Guardian carried an article about plans for Free Range Dairy in the coming year.  Political Editor, Alistair Driver, interviewed me at the recent event held by the APPG on Agroecology in Westminster. There is growing interest in the goals of Free Range Dairy amidst moves to encourage dairy farmers…

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Free Range Dairy in Parliament

Last Tuesday (16th April) I was invited to present my ideas for Free Range Dairy to MP’s at an event organised by the All Party Political Group (APPG) on Agroecology, in The Houses of Parliament. Also present were 10 other farmers and organisations promoting sustainable farming. For some farmers ecology does mean aggro – busy…

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Time to dance

The wet weather we had last summer, combined with the prolonged winter we have yet to escape, means that grass growth has been slow and the ‘green stuff’ isn’t as green as we would like it to be. We woke up to a white frost on Tuesday morning and didn’t feel much like spring. However,…

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Reading the future

Here is an extract from a book I have just bought from Amazon. “Since the 1870’s British farmers have had neither stability nor security. Politicians’ promises have been made and forgotten, war-time prosperity has been followed by slump or uncertainty”. “The fundamental reason is not hard to find, the public, quite naturally, prefer to buy…

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Can we have our cake and eat it?

I found an interesting article on the website Dairy Herd Network www.dairyherd.com which provides a lot of news on the US dairy industry. Nigel Cook, the incoming President of The American Association of Bovine Practitioners, manages the Dairyland Initiative Programme at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. The Dairyland Initiative was launched in…

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