My family has been at Strickley since 1875. I’m the 5th generation and one of my sons may hopefully carry on the family tradition and become our 6th generation dairy farmer!
Nestled between the picturesque Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales the farmland is made up of three to four steep banks know as Drumlins. We’re a fully organic dairy farm and the land, covered in luscious green grass makes perfect outdoor grazing for our 240 herd of Pedigree Dairy Shorthorns.
This hardy breed is what we affectionately refer to as the ‘athletes’ of the dairy cow world and they enjoy roaming the steep, grassy landscape and taking in the views of the nearby National Parks.
Dairy farming for us, as well as many other dairy farmers, is not just about producing milk and caring for and looking after our fantastic cows. An additional key priority is to look after the environment and we have committed to do so through the Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme. We have ponds, becks, ancient hedgerows as well as the ancient oak woodland which are all teaming with wildlife and wild flowers.
As part of the HLS activity, we regularly host school visits. My wife is a primary school teacher and really sees the difference in learning outcomes that the children have following a farm visit.
A dairy farm is such a stimulating environment not just for children but for all ages. Children of all different abilities can learn so much more than just reading about things from a text book, sat in a classroom! It’s key that we help them learn about how their food is produced and where it comes from so they can make better informed choices when they are older.
Dairy farming is in my blood! Although I have officially been a dairy farmer since leaving school 25 years ago, I feel I have been one all my life. Someone once asked me what is my favourite memory? Bringing the cows in for a morning milking on a fine Summers day. Its 5.30am, nobody else is awake, swallows are diving in and out of the cows legs catching the flies as the cows legs disturb the grass. Glorious!