William Kinston, 17, is a dairy farmer’s son from Burton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, and is currently studying an agriculture level three diploma at Reaseheath College, Cheshire.
I have grown up on a family farm in Derbyshire, which involves the milking of 800 cows, with replacements home-reared and arable on the side.
Cows are grazed throughout the year on a semi-exstensive system, with block calving in spring and autumn.
Cows are only housed through winter, but then are let out to graze if the weather permits through the day.
I am incredibly passionate about the dairy industry and I am particularly interested in matters of efficiency with milk production and a cow’s ability with cross-breeding to ensure the best mobility, fertility and constituents relevant to costs of production.
Looking into different factors, such as cow tracks, feeding, housing, and grazing, has helped cows become increasingly more efficient with costs of production and animal health.
Being able to foot trim on-farm has helped me to take on new responsibilities and reduce costs with the decreasing number of lame cows on-farm.
Personally, I would recommend taking these calculations to improve your overall confidence on the herd’s health and reduce costs.
I believe some of the misinformed perceptions swirling about the dairy industry could be altered through positive events which educate the public on food production, for example, Open Farm Sunday (OFS).
Although on-farm visits have been suspended due to Covid-19, it is running a virtual event on June 7, which will provide the public with an insight into how the dairy products we consume every day are produced.
Simple events like these can open door ways to new customers, reassuring them their British dairy products are produced to very high standards.
Other industries, such as the sheep sector, could also follow suit and hold events like OFS, holding sheep shearing tasks, for example.
Educating the public on the diversity of agriculture, as well as demonstrating the hard work which goes into maintaining our high standards of practice, is something the industry should continue to focus on.