Trevor Alcorn - Sustainable Dairy Farming - Does the family farm have a future?
I am a dairy farmer’s son from Omagh in Northern Ireland. Farming has been in my family for generations and I myself have been involved in agriculture since I can remember. I live on the family farm, with my wife Barbara, which consists of 110 hectares of grassland stocked with a dairy herd of 200 Holstein Friesian cows plus young stock.
While completing a Higher National Diploma in Agriculture at Greenmount Agricultural College, Northern Ireland, I spent part of my work placement year working on a 24,000 acre cattle ranch on mile 26 of the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, Canada. I also worked on a 80 cow Dairy Farm in the Netherlands, all of which gave me the inspiration to develop my knowledge of various farming systems throughout the world. I then went on to complete a degree in Agriculture at Queen’s University, Belfast.
I am currently employed by College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) as a Dairying Development Adviser in the North Tyrone Area. This job involves working with farmers on an individual and group basis to help them improve and develop their farm businesses.
My previous job was an Agricultural Lecturer at Enniskillen Agricultural College where I was involved with various part time and full time agricultural courses.
In my spare time when I am not helping out on the family farm, I assist with local farming and rural community groups, in organising various meetings with topical guest speakers. We have regular study tours to various parts of the UK and Europe to learn about alternative farming systems. I am currently president of my local Young Farmers Club – Clanabogan and previously played an active role throughout the organisation.
I am very grateful to my sponsor The Thomas Henry Foundation for giving me the opportunity to participate in a Nuffield Farming Scholarship.