Dairy Technical Field Tour
M. 07768 324844
The Dairy Study Tour promises a view of some of the best innovators in the UK dairy industry. We will visit a selection of family run dairy businesses that are breaking new ground in finding solutions to the challenges of a very difficult dairy market. Come and see a wide range of operators demonstrating a faith in the future with an interesting range of systems from high production to low intensity, from adding value and organics, to sheep milk production. Enjoy a tour of one of England’s most beautiful counties in the company of international Scholars with global insight, informed opinions, wide ranging discussion and traditional Nuffield fellowship.
Coach travel from York to Worcestershire, to visit James and Tom Appleby, then onwards to Dorset.
Bretforton Herd - James & Tom Appleby
The Applebys have farmed for three generations at Bretforton House Farm in the Vale of Evesham. The family converted to organic in August 2000 and produce award-winning ice cream under the Spot Loggin brand. They run an autumn-block-calving herd of 500 cows with an interesting history of cross breeding and innovation in paddock grazing. (www.spotloggins.com)
Evening - BBQ and ‘getting to know you’ session.
Hampreston Herd - Guy Trehane
Guy Trehane (1988 Scholar) dispersed the oldest Holstein Friesian herd in England at Hampreston in Dorset in 2015. Increasingly disenchanted with the sustainability of high-input dairy farming, he moved to low-tech with 280 Irish cows and a New Zealand milking parlour in order to compete with the best world exporters. The herd is autumn-block-calving, self-feed and paddock grazed, producing milk for a cream processor. Today the farm is managed through a joint venture with young farmer, George Winstone, and provides an interesting story of making generational change. Delegates can also look forward to a traditional Dorset cream tea in Guy and Anne’s well known garden. (www.ngs.org.uk/gardens)
J F Cobb & Sons - Nick Cobb
Award-winning Nick Cobb, who farms in partnership at West Chaldon, Dorchester, holds the title for the 2015 Memorial Award for the ‘herd with the highest average lifetime daily yield among National Milk Records’. His 740-cow Holstein herd achieved a lifetime daily yield of 18.97kg a day. Contributing to this is the herd’s average milk yield of 12,915kg (at 3.59% fat and 3.07% protein). In 2008, the partnership also won the Gold Cup; the most coveted industry award recognising all round excellence - production, inspection and genetic management. (www.jfcobbandsons.co.uk)
Evening - ‘The Great Milk Debate’
Prospect Farming - Neil Gregg + Tom Foot
Business partners Neil Gregg and Tom Foot (grandson of the late David Foot, a 1951 Scholar) run Prospect Farming, consisting of a spring-block herd of 750 dairy cows milked via a mobile milking unit on rented land in Dorset. In their bid to build a dairy business from scratch, they have successfully revived the age-old ‘Hosier’ method of milking – a process that takes the milking parlour out into the fields, instead of the cows to the milking parlour. Their equipment includes two side-by-side mobile parlours, a lorry carrying the water, cooling system and generator, plus a tanker. Milk is sold on a cheese contract.
Blackmore Vale Dairy
Blackmore Vale Farm Dairy is a family-owned and managed specialist dairy processor, supplying major food manufacturers and processors. It has a throughput of 35 million litres of milk a year, sourced from 35 local farms. Operating a world-class manufacturing facility, its award winning product range includes milk, cream, clotted cream, cultured milk products, soft cheese and mascarpone. The company is based just outside Shaftesbury in Dorset and is particularly recognised by the ‘Direct from Dorset’ scheme for support of the local economy in sourcing raw materials, as well as world-class manufacturing standards, efficient effluent and waste treatment. (www.bvdairy.co.uk)
North Lawn Farm - Jason Vickery
Jason Vickery (2013 Scholar) milks 300 cows on a tenanted farm in north Dorset, another 700 cows on two units with equity partners and has a number of dairy farming businesses in development. He is developing a reputation for excellence and innovation in managing multi-site dairy operations. Having left school at 16, Jason has progressed from being a dairy milker to running a respected, innovative and successful enterprise. His 2014 report -‘Reducing dairy farm costs to prosper in a global market‘ - is required reading for those who wish to examine their own costs of production. Jason’s insight into managing change will stimulate discussion and highlight practical solutions.
Evening - Dairy papers from two returning Scholars.
Forde Grange Goat Dairy - T & W Frost
The ever growing demand for both goat’s milk and the cheeses made from it persuaded Tim and Will Frost that it was time for expansion. They now run one of the largest goat dairies in the country, producing more than 110,000 litres of milk each month. The unit has purpose-built housing and an 80-point rotary milking parlour, enabling two people to milk at a rate of 650 goats an hour. Set up as a collaborative project, the unit is based on the Forde Abbey Estate, near Chard, and is currently home to 2,500 milking goats.
Lunch at Forde Abbey Estate - Welcome and presentation by Julian Kennard on the diversified Forde Abbey Estate, plus an optional visit to the historic house and garden. Dating back almost 900 years, the house is a national treasure and is home to Julian and his wife, Alice, along with their young family. (www.fordeabbey.co.uk)
Royal Three Counties Show
Journey home or optional visit to the Royal Three Counties Show at Malvern. (www.threecounties.co.uk)