Janette farms in partnership with her husband Chris on their 156 acre organic dairy farm. Forestside Farm is set in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside providing wonderful views of the Dove Valley and Weaver Hills, a very rural part of the County.
As a first generation dairy farmer, Janette works alongside her husband Chris (6th generation) to manage a small organic herd of 65 Pedigree Holstein Friesian dairy cows that produce 1600 litres of milk a day.
All the cows are home-bred and any surplus calves are sold to local farmer. In total there are 115 animals on the farm ranging from calves that are a few days old to the oldest cow, Valeta who is 11 years old.
“In the summer months the cows are out at grass in the fields surrounding the farm, but during the winter months, they come inside and are fed self-feed silage. The cows are milked twice a day by Chris and I help with other jobs, like cleaning the milking parlour, everything in the parlour has to be cleaned after every milking.
I also ensure that all the paperwork and calf registrations are up to date. Calves have to be registered at birth and given an ear tag number, they then have a unique passport which stays with them for life.
On the farm we also have a small caravan and campsite. Guests are encouraged to use the maps we provide to take farm walks, to watch the cows being milked and to find out more about farming.
The farm is also part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. I am passionate about helping consumers understand where their food comes from and we always encourage guests to come into the parlour to see the milking, which many of them do, although the afternoon session is far more popular than the early (5.30am) morning milking!
We take great pride in caring for our cows and the countryside. It can be hard work, but very satisfying and nobody has a view from their “office” like mine!