Sep 8, 2019
In this episode we're going to learn alot about dairy farming, milk and happy cows. Grab a notebook, there is a lot to learn!
Tom Foot and Neil Grigg are too humble to say this, but in building up their Open Air Dairy, they've become true pioneers in their industry. What they do is awesome. Cows that live 13 years instead of 3 in intensive farming, less antibiotics, happier cows, happier humans, happier fields, awesome milk and cheese...what they've achieved is exciting for the future of farming.
Like many tenant farmers, they didn't have hundreds of thousands of pounds to build conventional sheds and indoor milking systems. So when a fantastic farm came their way, they had to think outside the box. Or as one observer put it, they took the box, ripped it up completely and threw it away!
Inspired by a farmer in the 1920s, they've transformed second-hand trailers and bails into mobile milking parlours. Instead of herding their cattle to a shed every day, they take the sheds direct to the cows. Everything really is done in the open air, all year round!
What started as a cost-saving exercise - and the figures will astound you - has thrown up so many more benefits: great tasting milk; family-friendly working hours and super-relaxed cattle. I should know. A few of them enjoyed rubbing themselves against me as I recorded this conversation with Tom.
Enjoy my nervousness as I work out whether they are bulls or heffers.