Our farm is very different from the one I joined when I came home to work on the family farm. We ran a typical Cornish (SW England), mixed 120 hectare, family farm milking 60 cows, 100 ewes, a small beef enterprise and arable and vegetables
We now farm over 400 hectares, milk 750 cows, 550 spring 200 autumn six week calving blocks once a day milked on a grass based system and employ three members of staff. We rear all our replacements and all suitable bull calves are reared as rose veal calves. We have also diversified into renewable energy. Our system is based on sustainably maximising our land and climates natural ability to grow grass and improving soils for the future.
The most influential person that I met through the Young Farmers has to be my wife Claire. Together we have two fantastic daughters Rebecca and Emily aged 17 and 15 who we are encouraging to develop and set targets for their futures
We have strived to develop a TIME RICH system allowing us free time to travel and rear our family too many systems visited across the globe during my Nuffield farming scholarship are TIME POOR with many families spending more time rearing the business than the family and then wonder why the next generation don’t want to farm?
We have always run a very open house regarding visitors, which brings the untold benefits of learned friends. Nuffield Scholars, YFC Exchangees and farming friends coming to stay and the stories told, strategies discussed, has to be one of the biggest influences on not only myself but the whole family.
We can never know it all but any chance to know a little more must never be missed.
Since taking part in the Nuffield programme we promote agriculture as a career to school children, particularly secondary age, who are receiving career advice. I feel it vital that we as Dairy farmers must promote the opportunities of well paid jobs on farm and associated industry’s. The need for high quality people on farm is ever growing
Brexit opportunity or threat? With the decision made now we have to be positive and be sure to look for every opportunity as change is certain to bring them it is just being in a position to take them! Nationally I feel that negotiation skills will have to be quickly learned.