Andrew Brewer - What does the dairy industry need to do to encourage the next generation of high quality students that dairy technician is a worthwhile career option?
I am currently running our family Dairy farm with my wife Claire in Mid Cornwall. We Milk 650 spring calving cows, once a day, on an intensive grazing system. We have the goal of Profit and Lifestyle in Balance.
Our farming system allows us time to spend quality time with two daughters Rebecca aged 14 and Emily aged 12. It also gives us the time to explore and develop other business opportunities. We have spent the last 15 years developing the farm business from a mixed 60 cow dairy with sheep, beef and arable on 180ha to today farming 300ha predominately dairy with just a few sheep as a hobby and to annoy my wife! As well as finishing male calves from the dairy for rose veal.
We have also diversified into self catering holiday lets on farm using redundant old stone barns retaining the history of the areas building and giving a different income stream.
Renewable energy is also a pet subject of mine and we have built a wind turbine on farm which will help our business significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
Much of our learning has come from discussion groups and visits to farms in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. This has fuelled my desire for knowledge leading me to doing a Nuffield Scholarship
I also would like to thank my family and staff in advance for the extra work and effort they are going to need to put in to allow me to take up this wonderful opportunity
Helping others to develop their farming business or personally is important to me, we have farmers and school children visit the farm on a regular basis. I am a member of the Dairyco Research Advisory Forum and I am Dairy Crest Forum member which gives me the opportunity to give something back to the dairy industry.