Farmer Focus: Should we do more to promote dairy farming?

Last week I had the privilege of attending a careers event promoting opportunities in dairy farming.

It started with the subject of dairy apprenticeships. It was interesting that the students who came from farms were less keen to continue a life in agriculture.

This makes me wonder if we need to improve our own self-promotion as an industry.

Three weeks ago, I attended the AHDB Dairy Leaders Forum in Edinburgh. A very inspirational speaker, Sir John Jones, spoke. I recommend you listen to some of his talks on YouTube.

See also: 10 pieces of advice for young people starting in agriculture

He started out as a school teacher, so his passion is education and personal wellbeing.

Things I took away from the talk were that it’s not what you say or do for people, it’s how you make them feel.

We were brought up in the “Victorian era” which is based on standardisation, linearity, control, conformity and compliance.

Today’s younger generation are completely different, as their traits are creativity, ingenuity, agility, adaptability and sociability. If you’re like me you might need to refer to the dictionary!

It’s alarming the rate young minds are developing at because of our ability to access so much information through social media and the internet.

I was fortunate to attend Eurotier in November and on the Nedap stand (the company makes cow collars) I saw a visor that makes you look bit like Robocop in the cow shed. As you look at the cows their numbers show up.

You type in a cow identification number and the system works like a satnav to find the cow you want.

It is amazing to watch. All the children were really taken aback as I showed the movie of this new technology.

Back at home we started to feed high yielders some fresh grass again and milk yields went up.

This is a poor reflection on the pit of silage we are feeding at the moment. We hope to finish the grass a week before the man with the beard and sleigh comes.

I do wish you all a very merry Christmas. Who knows whether it will be our last one in the EU? 

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