This year’s Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies over-all Milk Hygiene competition winners are JJ Peters & Son, Sunnyhill, Crundale, Haverford West, and this on their first time of entering the competition.
The competition, sponsored by Diversey, is becoming a very sought after award, and this year’s competition was no exception. The judges John Griffiths, Coleg Sir Gar/Gelli Aur; and Michaela Rowlands, Diversey (Industry sponsors) both agreed that Sunnyhill are very worthy winners.
Initially they were presented with the Small producer award (up to one million litres per year) and then went on to win the main category for over-all Welsh winners.
The Large producer above 1million litres per year award goes to Jeff Evans, Broadmoor Farm, Wolfs Castle, Haverford West; and the Most improved producer award goes to John Young Farms- Neuadd Farm- Abergavenny, members of Monmouth Grassland Society.
Competition Judges presented the following notes on each farm:
Overall Winner and Small herd category - JJ Peters & Son, Sunnyhill, Crundale, Haverfordwest.
- 115 cow organic, closed herd.
- Mr Peters said they are the only organic dairy farm in Pembrokeshire.
- They set up selling milk through a Milk Vending Machine on the farm in August 2021 which included adding a pasteurising unit.
- Mr & Mrs Peters are helped by their daughter Annie who is currently a Student at Gelli Aur College. She spends every spare minute she’s not in college or studying helping on the farm with managing the herd and processing the milk, as well as dealing with all of the social media marketing enquiries.
- Currently less than 5% of the milk produced is sold through the vending machine. They also feed whole milk to rear the calves as powdered organic milk was prohibitively expensive. The rest of the milk goes to OMSCo.
- They AI all cows - no bull on farm. Holstein type cows housed in cubicles over winter and out to grass the rest of the year. All year round calving & milk recording monthly. Average 7500lt/lactation. Currently under bTB restrictions.
- Cluster flush system in the Herringbone 10/10 parlour with pre-milking teat dipping & post spraying with Deosan products.
The Sunny Hill team with Diversey's Michaela Rowlands
Winner in the large producer above 1million litres category: Jeff Evans, Broadmoor Farm, Wolfs Castle, Haverford West.
- 220 cow closed herd milked through a Herringbone parlour. Milks for 10 months then dries off whole herd (Jan & Feb) anything that falls outside this window is sold/culled.
- The farm does its own AI using sexed semen & has a beef bull to sweep up. Mr Evans mostly does all of the milking himself with the occasional relief milker coming in.
- No cluster flush system- but does use pre-milking & post milking teat dipping with Deosan products- which he says has contributed greatly to reduced TBC & SCC & cows are happier with softer, not cracked teats.
- Milk goes to First Milk for cheese. Cow type are Friesian with a bit of Jersey. Grass based, low input system. Av 5500lt /lactation.
- Old buildings- cubicle housing. Cows turned out at calving in March. Currently under bTB restrictions. Jeff does not milk record but tests for Johnes 4 times a year.
Jeff and Elinor Evans with Diversey's Michaela Rowlands
Most Improved: John Young Farms- Neuadd Farm Abergavenny (Comparing the Quality of the first 6 months production against the last 6 months of the Quota year).
- 240 cow closed herd, milked through an unusual Trigon parlour (7 x 3).
- Block calving system, using Genus ABS RMS package for heat detection and serving cows. Average yield is around 9,500lt.
- Large Holstein type cows.
- Cows are housed in winter in wooden cubicles with sand bedding which Ben Young says contributed to his lower SCC & TCB.
- The farm is rented. Currently free of BTB.
Ben Young with Diversey's Michaela Rowlands
FWGS secretary Charlie Morgan said celebrating the achievements of the very best in Welsh farming would inspire others to raise the bar for the whole industry.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the judges who had travelled to visit the competitors to see these farms first hand. The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted greatly but our farmers continue to produce at very high standards’’.
Margaret Peters from JJ Peters and Sons said :
“We are delighted to have won the award in our first year of entering! … Six months ago, we opened a milk vending machine on our farm yard, selling our pasteurised organic milk to the general public. We are very proud on winning this award, which will obviously be excellent publicity to support and promote the quality of our milk”.
For further details on the enterprise you can follow them on Facebook / Instagram - @sunnyhillfarmdairy.
For further information on the competition, please contact Charlie Morgan on 07786 397673.
For further information on Diversey Agriculture, please contact Rob Kelly, email@example.com