Amy Jackson  -  Removing the barriers to large scale dairy farming

Trehane Trust

I've been involved in the farming industry most of my adult life, first of all studying at SAC Auchincruive (when it was still in existence!) for an HND in Agriculture then taking a post-grad course on farm management in Aberdeen.  Aside from various farming jobs including lambing, harvest etc between school and college, I spent 15 months in Canada working on dairy farms near Guelph in Ontario before getting involved in the auction and cattle-breeding businesses back in the UK.

I moved into agricultural public relations about 15 years ago and have since worked for wide range of client in the industry as well as a number of non-ag clients including Cadbury, Gillette and Kraft.  I set up my own PR business several years ago and have since been working with a heady mix of clients in construction, environment, farming, food chain and industry.

I now live in Oxfordshire with my two dogs in a rambly cottage, all of which need constant attention!


Project Details

Study: Removing barries to large scale dairy farming

I became involved in PR for the Nocton Dairies project - a proposal for an 8,000-cow dairy farm in Lincolnshire - after the first application was withdrawn in 2010. The debate about this proposal and the issue of large-scale livestock farming in general has polarised opinion in the industry and beyond.  Mainstream and social media have highlighted a huge gap between consumer understanding and the reality of farming, and fear from smaller scale farmers about how large scale farming might impact on their future.  This is what has triggered my interest in this subject.

Aside from current milk price issues, farmers need to be able to invest with confidence in genuinely sustainable, modern production systems without fear of compromising their businesses or exposing themselves and their families to unwanted attention.

Identifying and studying the barriers to large scale dairy farming – including: what the exact issues and concerns are; acceptance among consumers, politicians and also other farmers; physical, technical and scientific issues and impacts of the proposals; and the underlying motivations of the NGOs.  Also, how aer resolutions being brokered in other sectors and other countries around the world?  I am interested in separating fact from fiction and looking at what is behind the trend for expansion.

The study's primary area of focus is the dairy sector, but I want to look at examples of best practice and innovation in other sectors (eg pig and poultry) as well.