Back in June I was extremely fortunate to go on the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists / John Deere Training Scheme where I learned all the tips and tricks for becoming an agricultural journalist. I also met some amazing people who I am lucky enough to call friends for life!
As part of the scheme I had to write an entry for a competition on #Farm24.
Whilst I didn’t win, I thought I would share my article with you anyway, especially since I was in Beijing for #Farm24 so wanted to thank Claire Dickinson for assisting me with the piece in terms of providing all the information and more as well as taking some pretty awesome cow photos!
So here it is!
UK Jersey Society herd together to promote breed on #Farm24
A recent national farming campaign has provided a springboard for one cattle society to promote its breed.
The UK Jersey Society held its 134th annual general meeting on August 10th, coinciding with #Farm24, a campaign run by Farmers Guardian to raise awareness of the agricultural industry.
The meeting, hosted by the Dickinson family at Manor Farm, Doncaster, focused on the welfare of livestock and outgoing president, Su Mahon, urged members to be “active in the promotion of the Jersey breed within the wider dairy industry.”
More than 60 members of the society attended the meeting which included a farm walk around the Thurlstone Jerseys herd of 280 pedigree Jersey cows and calves.
Kate Cross, the head of National Bovine Data Collection, said: “The Jersey herd at Thurlstone are a credit to the Dickinson family and the stockmanship was evident at every part of the farm walk.”
Members were also encouraged by the Dickinson family to use their phones throughout the day to post photographs of the herd online alongside the hashtag #Farm24.
In 2006, in a bid to secure the future of the farm, the Dickinson family switched from breeding Holsteins to Jerseys to secure a new contract with local milk buyer Longley Farm.
This is because the Jersey breed has higher protein and butterfat components which complement Longley Farm products.
The family have since installed a milk vending machine in an outbuilding next to the local pub, King William Inn, which allows the public to buy their fresh Jersey milk.
They have also diversified further and now supply 180ha of potatoes for Walkers Crisps, KP Crisps, McCains Chips and Tyrells.
In addition, the family took part in Open Farm Sunday this year as a way of promoting farmers and educating locals. They believe #Farm24 is capitalising on this.
Host Claire Dickinson said: “#Farm24 is a great campaign in that it enables the dairy industry to herd together to educate our consumers about the production of their food.”
“Moreover, the hashtag helps consumers understand the time and hard work farmers put in as well as demonstrates the high standards of animal welfare our industry is renowned for.”
She added: “The campaign is very important to us as it gave us a platform not only to promote ourselves but to promote the Jersey breed. Most consumers only recognise black and white Holsteins as milk cows and this is a perception we, as advocates of the breed, need to change!”