Why David would be an effective mentor

  • The business has evolved significantly over the last 18 years through benchmarking and knowledge transfer. After a study tour, David had his eyes opened to the potential of financial sharing, and subsequently changed the way he runs his business. He switched to a spring calving, low input, grass-based system and now strives to strike a balance between farming profitably, sustainably and in a way that is enjoyable
  • David feels fortunate to have been involved in many farm discussion groups which benchmark against each other for different systems. This has enabled him to mix with like-minded and open minded farmers from Great Britain and Ireland. He believes talking and sharing ideas and knowledge with a diverse and honest group of farmers has helped him become a better communicator and listener
  • David hosts many group visits on the farm where he is delighted to be challenged, as it makes him think about what he is doing and if there is a better way
  • As well as farming, David has been involved with First Milk where he had to be proactive with members during a very challenging couple of years for the business. He has gained a lot of experience by trying to get to the bottom of serious issues with executives and board members and he was on the interview panel to select directors for the new board
  • David enjoys talking to younger people who he says can often be more open minded and inquisitive compared to the older generation. He believes youngsters are the future and need to be guided and nurtured in a positive way

Current farm business

  • 500 acres owned
  • 385 spring calving crossbreds and Friesian cows plus 200 followers
  • Three men employed on the farm

Qualifications/ achievements/ experience

  • HND Agriculture Aberystwyth University 1981-1984
  • Travelled to work in Israel 1983
  • Study tour to New Zealand 2003
  • Worked on family farm 1984-present
  • Area representative for First Milk 2013-2016
  • Founder Member of Grasshoppers Discussion Group 1999-present


TOP TIPS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS

“You have got to be enthusiastic and have a strong work ethic, coupled with common sense and a skillset for financial planning.”

“Challenge and scrutinise different viewpoints. Make sure any advice works for your business.”

“You can’t control the market but you can control your costs, so focus on that. Also, it’s important to look at the resources and layout of the farm, the practicality of farm, infrastructure, cow type and financial resources. All these resources need to be analysed to see whether they are fit for purpose in a good or bad year.”