Trade stands, cattle shows, knowledge sharing and product demonstrations were all available during the 2022 UK Dairy Day held at the International Centre, Telford.
Busy day on NFU stand
The NFU stand in Hall 1 saw the NFU Dairy Board chair Michael Oakes and other members, along with NFU expert advisers, discussing key issues affecting members’ farms and the dairy sector.
A number of seminars and industry panels were staged throughout the day discussing a range of topics including finance, health and welfare, and feed efficiencies.
Above: NFU members and advisers discussing key issues affecting the industry
Panel employment debate
One session on sustainable employment featured NFU dairy board member, John Torrance, who farms near Romford, Essex.
John, a third-generation farmer and tenant on 429 hectares of Crown Estate land just 15 miles from central London, explained how his 14-strong workforce is important to all elements of the farming business.
Reliability, flexibility and continuity
He told delegates that his three key words when it comes to the staff are reliability, flexibility and continuity.
John said: “The vast majority of our workforce are eastern European. We accommodate them – everyone is housed on site and bills are paid like council tax and water as part of the package.
“It’s really important to have structures in place and ensure each person has the correct skillset – basically, the right person in the right job.
Staff development is key
“80% of our staff have never worked in dairy before so I’m keen on developing workers and nurturing them, particularly students and young people.
“You also need to keep everyone fresh too. Ensure they take breaks. When you have staff who are tired, then that’s when productivity falls.
“We train them on how to do all the relevant jobs and if they have the willingness to learn, they will move forward.”