Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Farm Vet in England

We recently went back to England to visit the farm vet's family. It was a fantastic trip and we were very fortunate to experience great weather throughout the trip. One of the highlights of the vacation was visiting a local dairy farm in Lincolnshire. Yes, this is what we get excited to do on our vacations. Visiting dairies is our "cup of tea." :-)

This farm is a bit unusual for an English dairy as it is going to be expanding it's milking herd up to 650 cows. That is quite a bit larger than the average herd size in England. The owner is a young dairy farmer and was a wonderful host. We spent three hours discussing the U.S. and U.K. dairy industries. He was gracious enough to show us around and did this without much notice prior to our arrival. It was refreshing to see this young dairy farmer speak with so much motivation and ambition to progress and succeed when the world presents so many challenges for dairy farmers these days. We will see if he starts a trend with the expansion of his dairy farm......

Here is a photo of his milk barn system and also a photo of his current cow housing. The cows will be let out on pasture in the summer and be kept inside for the winter. He is renovating a barn with individual stalls for the cows to lay down in.

The calves are fed with this milk tank, not individually by bottle. This was something new for us to see and it looks as though it is yielding good results!

It was nice to see the different management practices he is implementing. As we say, it all comes down to good management and he looks like he is doing a great job. We would like to thank Tom Rawson for his time and openness with us. We wish him all the best with his new ventures.

A walk in the famous Yorkshire Dales where James Herriot spent his days as a veterinary surgeon was another highlight of our trip. I could not help but picture him racing around from farm to farm on the narrow, winding roads. Here are a few photos of the beautiful countryside which we were lucky enough to enjoy. 

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