First dairy herd expansion conference, Penrith

Published 2 September 11




Penrith Auction will be the venue for the first ever conference in Cumbria covering the issue of dairy herd expansion.  The Conference will take place on Thursday 22nd September 2011 from 10.30am until 3.00pm with speakers covering the many issues that farmers face when they seek to expand their dairy herds.  Farmers will be free to attend whichever talks they are interested in and also visit over 30 dairy company and industry exhibition stands in the Show Hall.

The idea for the conference has come from the experience of the RDPE NW Livestock Programme Dairy Monitor farm at Dacre near Penrith which is in the process of increasing its dairy herd from 160 cows to 300 cows by the end of 2011.  The monitor farmer, Matt Bland, is grappling with the challenge of managing an almost doubling in size of his dairy herd with the help of a number of specialists, including Jimmy Goldie of SAC Consulting and the dairy monitor farm steering group.

Chairman of the monitor farm steering group, Kevin Beaty said:  "many farmers are seeking to expand their herds to achieve economies of scale in the battle to stay in the industry.   This conference will examine many of the issues involved in herd expansion including making best use of the farm's buildings, designing new buildings, animal health considerations, how to keep input costs down, staffing and finance.  As well as talks throughout the day, farmers are also invited to meet with over 30 dairy company and industry exhibitors in the Show Hall."

Topics covered at the conference include:

  • "Opportunities for Growth" with John Allen, Kite Consulting and Rob Hitch Dodd & Co"Animal health issues with herd expansion and feeding larger herds" with Karen Lancaster, Dairy Co and Jennifer Picken, Keenan Systems UK
  • Adapting Current Buildings and Building Design for modern large scale units with Jamie Robertson, Livestock Management Systems Ltd
  • Expanding My Herd:  Lessons learned with farmer Andrew Mycock and Ian Lindsay from LKL staff services
  • "Herd Expansion - the experience of the Cumbria Dairy Monitor Farm" with Jimmy Goldie  SAC Dairy Specialist and Victor Oudhuis, Paragon Vets

For more information about the event, please contact Kate Gascoyne on Tel: 01768 881462 or e mail:

Notes for editors

The conference is being organised by the RDPE North West Livestock Programme which is funded by DEFRA and the EU and aims to help livestock farmers across the North West improve their competitiveness through better animal health and welfare and the more efficient use of farm resources.  In Cumbria, information events for farmers and the monitor farm programme are delivered by the Farmer Network on behalf of DEFRA.  Sponsorship for the conference has also been obtained from NWF Agriculture Ltd and Richard Keenan UK Ltd.