Farmers needed for project to improve the long term future of dairying in Western Europe

Published 4 July 18


Ten south-west dairy farmers have the unique opportunity to become involved in a new and exciting project looking at how to improve the long term future of dairying in western Europe.

 Are you one of them?

  • Is dairy your main enterprise and are you in the top 50% for economic performance?
  • Does your farm have good technical and environmental performance?
  • Are you a motivated farmer keen to travel to visit other farms in the UK and western Europe?
  • Are you innovative, progressive and keen on research and development?
  • Are you committed to improving natural resource efficiency on your farm?
  • Do you have good record keeping and prepared to anonymously share your data?

Dairy farming is a critically important economic activity in the Atlantic region of Europe that faces the challenges of market volatility and climatic hazards as well as the need for more efficient use of natural resources to improve competitiveness. From Scotland to the Azores, the Dairy-4-Future project aims to increase the competitiveness, sustainability and resilience of dairy farms through the development of innovative and efficient dairy systems and increased cooperation between research and development groups.

In partnership with AHDB, Duchy College will work closely with farmers in the south west of England, and will join with other Dairy-4-Future project partners from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. The project will run for four years from 2018 until the end of 2021.

Critical to the success of the project is the involvement of 10 pilot dairy farms from each region. A budget of €2,000 per farm has been allocated for each pilot farmer to attend workshops and visit other farmers from the other participating regions.

Pilot farms

An integral aspect of the project will be the analysis of sustainability on 100 pilot dairy farms across the eight countries involved. It is essential these pilot farms are family farms typical of the region, i.e. above-average dairy farms in terms of technical and economic performance, while at the same time being relevant to other farmers in the region in terms of farm size and cow numbers.

Successful farms will work closely with researchers from Duchy College, supported by the AHDB Dairy extension team. As well as having the opportunity to travel and meet other farmers, if your farm is selected you will benefit from receiving benchmarking reports on your financial performance and on the carbon-footprint of your farm. You will also receive regular technical publications and research updates as the project progresses.

If you would like to be a pilot farmer in the Dairy-4-Future project, please contact Stephen Roderick on 01209 722148, by mobile on 07715 164606 or by email to