Important updates as well as thoughts on the future for the dairy industry will be on offer for all Dairy Event visitors at the Dairy Circle.
Designed to have an informal impact, the Dairy Circle will include speakers from various areas of the industry.

Topics will focus on everything from milking the right contract through to opportunities for the cull cow market.

Submit your question in advance for any of the Dairy Circle speakers …

On the first day, Weds, Sept 21, speakers will begin at 11am. The following day’s speakers will begin at 10.30 and run until 2.30pm.

Duncan Sinclair  MLC – Countdown to OTMS rule change?
After many false dawns, the clock is ticking towards a possible change in the over 30-month rule before the end of the year.
MLC has been closely monitoring developments on OTMs; in particular, examining potential implications for the market-place both within the UK and EU, says Mr Sinclair. Key conclusions have been made in terms of impact on domestic supplies and production, sectors of the market where it could be used in and possible import displacement will be presented at the event.

Tim Dobson Farmer – Why you are worth more than £2.90 an hour
Whether it is business planning, financial management, stock or manual skills, dairy producers have a wide range of skills to draw upon.
The RABDF survey of farm labour estimates that family labour is worth £42,000 a year. But, rarely do they pay themselves this much, as they cannot afford to. But they need to be aware of their own woth, says Mr Dobson.
“Our wage needs to reflect experience, training, investment in the farm and must be sufficient to support ourselves and our families. If we don’t recognise our own worth, no one else will.”

Gwyn Jones  NFU – Are you milking the right contract?
As the dairy industry moves into the new world of producing for a market with reduced support, it is vital dairy farmers extract all they can from the market-place.
Producers must ensure that not only are they efficient milk producers who meet all the legal and assurance standards, but that they have the right contract, says Mr Jones.
“Present contracts leave a lot to be desired, often reducing profits for everyone and often failing to meet market needs. Price arrangements are short term, which makes long-term planning and investment decisions difficult.”
As milk quota becomes less relevant, the milk contract becomes the most important document on the farm, he says.

Ian Ohnstad The Dairy Group – Reducing milking time on your farm
As herd size increases, labour employed to milk and manage the herd does not rise at the same rate. This results in pressure to complete the basic routine tasks as quickly as possible, reckons Mr Ohnstad.
“Corners are cut, which can negatively affect milk quality, udder health and, ultimately, profitability.” But he says for many herds bonus payments for Bactoscan and SCC are the difference between profit and loss.
Reducing milking time on farm without reducing milk quality is the way forward.

Liz Broadbent MDC – On farm processing – desperation or business sense?
It is well recognised that business start-ups and innovation are notoriously difficult and most fail, says Mrs Broadbent.
“We need to take development seriously and provide assistance to reduce risk to farmers.
“On-farm processing and local marketing is not an easy solution, but for the right farm in the right location with the right product idea, it may be the best way forward.”

Submit your question in advance for any of the Dairy Circle speakers …

Wednesday 21 September

11.00                Lord Bach, Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food – Keynote address
12.00                Gwyn Jones, NFU – Milking the right contract
12.30                Ian Ohnstad, The Dairy Group – Reducing milking time on your farm
13.00                Remi Fourier, MLC France – Cull cows, opportunities in the French marketplace
13.30                Douglas Chalmers, CLA – Options for successful diversification
14.00                Liz Broadbent, MDC – On farm processing, desperation or business sense?
14.30                Melissa Ravenhill, dairy farmer – Specialist cheese from a county council holding
15.00                Steven and Claire Bland, dairy farmers – Ice cream and visitors, a recipe for success
15.30                 Dr Basil Lowman, SAC – Profitable beef from the dairy herd
16.00                James Letts, Environment Agency – Dealing with waste on your farm

Submit your question in advance for any of the Dairy Circle speakers …

Thursday 22 September

10.30                Ken Boyns, MDC – Should you stay or should you go?
11.00                Richard Davis, NDFAS – Where does farm assurance start and stop?
11.30                Dr Basil Lowman, SAC – Profitable beef from the dairy herd
12.00                Tim Dobson, RABDF / dairy farmer – Why you are worth more than £2.90/hour
12.30                Brian Castle, CLA – Tax considerations when diversifying
13.00                Duncan Sinclair – The cull cow market post OTMS
13.30                Juliet Harbutt, British Cheese Awards – What’s needed for the cheese market
14.00                Margaret Davies, dairy farmer – Luxury cheese, the soft blue option
14.30                Steven and Claire Bland, dairy farmers – Ice cream and visitors, a recipe for success

Submit your question in advance for any of the Dairy Circle speakers …