Celebrating our sustainable dairy farm award winners

Celebrating our sustainable dairy farm award winners

A WEST Sussex dairy farm manager has won this year’s VetPartners Sustainable Dairy Farmer of the Year award.

Now in their third year, the prestigious awards recognise farmers committed to improving business efficiency, environmental sustainability, enhancing livestock productivity or fostering community relationships.
They are nominated by farm vets across the VetPartners family of farm and mixed practices.

Winner Matt Penny, pictured left, who manages Oliver Grant’s Carters Lodge Dairy, near Handcross, was nominated by Westpoint Farm Vets clinical director Emily Phipps and locum vet Matt Dobbs.

With the support of Matt, the farm team is running several initiatives to reduce input costs, and farm environmental impact while improving the welfare of the 330-cow herd.

Not only is the farm successfully reducing input costs and environmental impact it has recently been awarded a new Aldi Arla contract.

Matt said: “The team pays amazing attention to detail. In addition to having low-stress, happy cows, they’ve reduced antibiotic use, FEC routinely and have reduced worming treatments on youngstock.

“They’ve proven teamwork, planning, organisation and sticking to best practice yields results. This care is evident in no down cows, low cull rates and strong attention to detail in transition.

“This farm is a strong advocate of health planning with regular vet visits in the breeding season as well as planning meetings at the start of the season. The herd has been marked as disease-free from IBR, BVD and Leptospirosis. Plus their Johnes control started 10 years ago and there has been no clinical disease in seven years.”

The two award runners-up were Ryan Dobson, from Colley Farm in Somerset, and Lucy Noad and family, of Woodhouse farm in Wiltshire.

Mr Dobson was nominated by FarmVets SouthWest vet Cormac White, while the Noad family was nominated by Sarah Bolt, technical knowledge exchange manager at Kingshay dairy consultants.