DairyCo extension team a continues to grow

Published 21 December 09

DairyCo extension team a continues to grow

Three new extension officers are joining the DairyCo extension team this month, bringing the number of officers across the country to 16.  DairyCo says the recruitment is evidence that it is interacting directly with more dairy farmers than ever before.

"Extension officers are one of the real success stories of DairyCo," says head of extension at DairyCo, Stuart Goodinson. "We've developed, and continue to grow, a team of people that are meeting the needs of their local dairy producers but who also have a national profile."

The growth is central to DairyCo's business strategy going forward, and demonstrates that the organisation is proactively addressing its mission to ensure farmers have access to world class information and the support they need to improve their profitability. 

DairyCo extension officers are involved with nearly 800 events every year.  "But it's not just about large on-farm meetings," says Mr Goodinson. "We work with discussion groups, both our own and other people's, are involved in delivering technical information at other organisation's meetings and are increasingly working with small groups of farmers, tackling single technical issues at impact groups." 

He says: "We've got extension officers with a broad range of technical specialisms, from grass and nutrition, to building design, mastitis, heifer rearing and NVZs and we aim to add to our team's specialist knowledge by training and bringing in expert knowledge.

The extension team now has a wide range of skills within it. Not just the technical specialists, but top quality facilitators, speakers, and meeting organisers as well as the ability to run effective business improvement programmes.

"This technical knowledge means producers from across the country can tap into the knowledge and experience of a technical expert wherever they are. I'm not saying your extension officer knows the answer to every question but they will have a pretty good go at pointing you in the right direction of the answer!," says Mr Goodinson.

"And of course it is also a two-way process. Extension officers are also an excellent line of communication between producers and other departments in DairyCo. They feed back the thoughts and issues producers face to the organisation and the DairyCo Board."

 

Ends

 

Date 21 December 2009

 

For further information:

N:        Helen Bond

T:        02476 478696

E:        helen.bond@dairyco.org.uk

 

Notes for Editors:

 

DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

 

DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:

  • Provision of high quality market information to help farmers and their representatives make the most of dairy markets and opportunities.
  • Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through the provision of world class research programmes and practical on-farm tools and services
  • Helping promote the positive perception of dairy farming with the general public.
  • The development of DairyCo activities towards a self-sustaining model.

 

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £6.5m.