Archive: Dairy Farmer of the Year – winners and runners-up announced

Published 3 October 14

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Joint Venture dairy farmers win praise of judges

DairyCo is proud to support the Dairy Farmer of the Year Award and is delighted that, passionate and committed dairy farmers, Robert Craig, from Cumbria, and Steve Brandon from Staffordshire, won this prestigious award. Both men have farms at home and, in order to grow their business, they entered into a Joint Venture to develop an additional dairy unit, in Cumbria. Robert and Steve run a 530 herd using a grazing-based, spring-block calving approach at Dolphenby Farm in the Eden Valley, together with 149 bulling heifers and 101 heifer calves, as part of a Joint Venture. Cows and youngstock are housed during the winter and paddock grazed the rest of the year.

Attention to detail in milk production and breeding, with clear business objectives produces a good yield and a very efficiently managed herd. Robert and Steve take great care and pride in cultivating and growing their on-farm team to maximise the benefit to the people and the business. 

DairyCo’s Rachael Chamberlayne said: “Infectious enthusiasm summarises these guys’ approach. Their passion and commitment to the dairy sector, their business and the team around them is so impressive. The determination to develop their people and up-skill them, together with a clear plan for the future was clearly driving their ambitions for the farm and it’s fantastic to see. Congratulations.”


Runners-up are worthy of praise too as these awards are a great opportunity for dairy farmers to show they are proud of what they do and get the recognition they deserve for investing in their future and the future of dairy farming.                                        

Jonathan Wilkinson manages a pedigree herd of 320 cows on his 155ha hillside Dyffryn Farm in Powys, Mid Wales, and has invested to double cow numbers and substantially grow the business over the past five years.   

Alex Robertson from Coopon Carse Farm, Wigtownshire is a progressive, technically competent farm manager applying great attention to the detail on the 262ha, 500 high yielding pedigree Holstein herd.