A Farming Fairytale

DairyCo’s Farmer Intentions Survey for 2012 shows British dairy farmers giving a vote of confidence for the medium to long term outlook for both the industry and their own farm businesses. 36% of farmers in Britain said they intend to expand milk production over the next two years, whilst the number intending to leave the…

Seasons & Reasons

After having let our cows out to graze exactly a month ago, we have had to bring some of them back indoors today. In an attempt to address the impending drought, Mother Nature has decided to send rain by the bucket full and our heavy clay soils are struggling to drain themselves between the storms.…

First Free Range Dairy Meeting

Moving milk into a new field in 2012 Come along and be part of Free Range Dairy Meeting date and time: 22nd March 7.30pm Venue: Duchy College, Stoke Climsland, Callington, Cornwall PL17 8PB For more information: Refreshments will be provided.   Free Range dairy is a farmer-led initiative to reclaim the value of milk…

AHDB Education

The Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), in association with FACE (Farming and Countryside Education), recently commissioned research into current perceptions of children aged 7-15 on food, farming and the countryside, which has been used in the development of the AHDB Education Strategy 2012-17. The report produced by CHILDWISE in the summer of 2011, provides…

Survey now closed

A huge thank you to all those who returned survey forms or completed them online – a total of nearly 600 in all. We are overwhelmed by the response, particularly the number who have provided contact details and expressed an interest in hearing more about Free Range Dairy or attending a regional meeting. Although the…

What do cows eat?

I can’t find much information on the websites of major retailers about the farms they source their milk from. Most of what is available makes reference to high welfare standards but lacks any real detail. Similarly, when it comes to how the cows are managed and, in particular the contribution from grazing, there is little…

Healthy fats in milk

The French public research institute, Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) has produced some interesting findings on healthy fats in milk. Researchers in the INRA-INSERM-University Aix-Marseilles Joint Research Unit for Human Nutrition and Lipids: Bioavailability, Metabolism and Regulation, wished to compare the effects on the cardiovascular risk of two types of dairy fats: those…

Out-wintering cattle

I attended a very interesting meeting at Kinston Maurward College today, which was all about out-wintering cattle. The meeting was run by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), based at The University of Aberystwyth. There were two excellent farmer presentations from Clyde Jones and Chris Barnes, who shared their experiences of out-wintering…

Open Farm Sunday 2012

Promoting our farming and our milk is essential if we are to win the support of UK consumers. LEAF have been running Open Farm Sunday for the last seven years and it provides a fantastic opportunity to instil value in our farms and our cows. This year Open Farm Sunday takes place on June 17th.…

British Grassland Society

I attended the Pasture to Profit Conference held near Worcester last November. It was a really stimulating gathering, even though I don’t run a spring calving herd along the lines of a New Zealand style system. Several of the speakers highlighted the potential to produce milk form grass and there are lessons we can all…

Eat Wild

I stumbled upon this website www.eatwild.com which contains some interesting points about pasture-fed livestock. It has been set up by a New York Times best-selling writer called Jo Robinson, author of a book called ‘Pasture Perfect’. The website is very much about farming and food production in the USA but she presents some interesting findings…