Why David would be an effective mentor

  • Following the dissolving of a family partnership, a large amount of capital was taken out of the business. Over the following years David and his partner Carol experienced some very difficult times financially, but they learnt many valuable business skills such as budgeting and cash flow monitoring as they turned their farming business into a profit focussed, sustainable one
  • They moved from a total mixed ration feed all-year round calving system to a grass-based, spring block calving herd, which is now milked once a day
  • David attended evening classes to understand how to make the best use of spreadsheets for budgeting and cash flow purposes, as well as learning how to use Sage accounts system
  • They regularly attend open days and conferences in the UK and Ireland to learn how to improve their business
  • On farm they benchmark their business whenever possible. Using the Farm Business Survey in Wales booklet published by Aberystwyth University as a guide, they sit comfortably within the top 25% of dairy farms in Wales for profitability per hectare
  • David is a passionate believer in the value of discussion groups for knowledge transfer between farmers and encouraging the next generation into the industry to avoid the mistakes of the past, so that they can run profitable and sustainable businesses
  • On the Arla UK council David mixes with many dairy farmers from around the UK who operate different systems to his, and so as well as an above average understanding of the global dairy industry, he appreciates other systems and their problems and benefits
  • David considers himself fortunate to be part of the dairy industry and sees this mentoring role as an opportunity to give something back to it

Current farm business

  • 120 hectare tenanted farm on a three generational tenancy; 80 hectares used as the grazing platform for the dairy herd; 40 hectares three miles away used to rear young stock, stock bulls and is the main silage ground
  • 300-head closed herd of Jersey Friesian crossbred, spring calving cows. Milked once a day on a grass based system
  • 150 head of replacement youngstock and stock bulls also reared on farm

Qualifications/ achievements/ experience

  • HND Agriculture, Welsh Agricultural College, Aberystwyth 1979-1982
  • One of the founding members and group co-ordinator of discussion group the Grazing Gogs
  • Farmer representative on Arla UK council


“Know where you want to get to and plan your route to get there.”

“Cash is king in business.”

“Focus on return on capital for equity growth.”