We started changing our dairy farming system 25 years ago. Six years ago we rolled out a cow-with-calf system across the herd. Three years ago we committed to cow-with-calf dairy farming permanently. By next year we expect the cost of production – in our organic, 100% pasture-fed, cow-with-calf dairy farm – to be less expensive than intensive, commercial milk production.
We think our journey to net-zero, high-welfare, agroecological dairy farming has something to contribute to the current debates about sustainable food production. So we wrote a book. A Dairy Story is the story of transforming our farm over that 25 year period, but it’s much more than that.
It’s the story of us; of our marriage, our business and the people who have helped us achieve a resilient, climate-friendly, circular food system. It’s also the story of this place; the landscape, the soil, the wildlife and the herd.
The world is changing very quickly. Farming needs to change too.
This book doesn’t claim we have all the answers. Far from it!
It’s a story about the challenges that change brings, the problems that need to be overcome and, at times, the very personal consequences of moving away from conventional practice to an approach that centres the environment and climate.