Support for East Midlands dairy farmers

Published 9 February 09

Support for East Midlands dairy farmers

DairyCo has a new addition to its Knowledge Transfer team.  James Hague joined the company as an Extension Officer (EO) for the East Midlands in mid-January.

Being the third generation on the family's dairy farm in Cheshire means James has plenty of practical knowledge and a strong background in agriculture.

James said: "I am looking forward to joining the current extension team at DairyCo.  The work that they do is vital to drive the dairy industry forward so as to compete within the world market and promote the perception of dairy farming to the general public."

Stuart Goodinson, who manages the DairyCo extension team, is delighted to welcome the new recruit: "James will be a valuable addition to the team which provides a vital route for information from DairyCo's Research and Development and Market Intelligence departments to be passed onto dairy farmers.  The EOs have an extremely important role in communicating the latest developments to farmers through meetings, presentations and practical workshops; helping farmers to make the most of their businesses."

James was recently awarded the John Platt Travel Scholarship from the Cheshire Agricultural Society to study Pasture Management in New Zealand and hopes to travel out there in early 2010.

He completed a National Diploma in Agriculture at Reaseheath College, Cheshire and then went to Seale-Hayne Agricultural College in Devon and completed a HND in Agriculture.  More recently, he returned to Reaseheath College to be a part-time lecturer in Agriculture until March 2008.

James is currently the County Secretary of Cheshire YFC, a council member of the Cheshire Show and is also Chief Steward of the Main Ring.

The EOs were recently recognised for their facilitation skills when the DairyCo Business Group initiative won an award for Partnership & Collaboration at the South West National Training Awards 2008.  Feedback from farmers who attend the Business Groups, which are facilitated by the EOs, showed that 98 per cent felt the meetings were a good use of their time and 95 per cent had done something different as a result of attending.

The success of the Business Group initiative means that as well as James, Heather Wildman has joined the team to support Scottish dairy farmers, Judith Stafford joined in December to cover the North Midlands and the organisation is currently recruiting for another three to join the team.  The EOs already provide an excellent level of services to farm businesses and these new recruits will help DairyCo provide even more support to dairy farmers across the UK.

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For further information:
N:    Suze Attaway
T:    01285 646510
E:    suze.attaway@dairyco.org.uk

Notes for Editors:

DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:
•    The provision of a world-class information service
•    Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through better business management.
•    Helping promote the positive perception of dairy products and dairy farming with the general public
•    The development of DairyCo 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 £7m.

DairyCo co-funds the industry's nutritional and issues management resource - The Dairy Council - with the processors' trade body Dairy UK.

DairyCo Limited was set up in April 2008 following a fundamental review of agricultural levy boards by Defra. The five existing levy boards (including the Milk Development Council) were replaced by one statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Reporting in to AHDB are six sector companies - DairyCo covers the milk sector.