Why Haydn would be an effective mentor

  • Haydn started the business completely from scratch 20 years ago, when he bought his own farm and some cows after a career in the banking sector, and he has huge empathy for new entrants. He believes that they always have plenty of enthusiasm, but sees that they also need the most guidance to ensure financial discipline is put into the business to make it more robust
  • Haydn and his wife brought their son through to become head of the business in 2015, following his successful graduation with an MSc in Agriculture. This was a huge learning curve, but sees the importance to looking to the future
  • Haydn’s previous work as a bank manager has given him a key skill in financial accounting, budgeting control and cash flow analysis - the basic tool kit for a profitable business. As well as bringing some practical financial help, he can also bring a farmer’s interpretation, which is meaningful for people who may not have those business skills
  • At present Haydn heads a group of 10 family farms supplying milk to Rachel’s Dairy and is actively involved in key areas of milk procurement, marketing and pricing, working collaboratively with the dairy. The hands-on involvement in contractual issues has given Haydn a good experience of negotiations and he is capable of pulling the strengths and weaknesses out of contracts
  • Haydn is a firm believer in the value of soils, and samples every year, keeping accurate records. Their grass productivity reflects the effort they put in. Haydn believes that the soils will pay back too because it’s what comes up that matters! They grow a lot of their own forage and are trying to get maximum productivity on their own protein off the farm
  • Haydn believes that his experience could help create a profitable and successful business within the dairy industry

Current farm business

  • 97 hectare organic dairy farm split into two units – 34 hectares owned, 63 hectares rented. One farm houses the milking herd, while the other is utilised as a youngstock rearing unit
  • 100 British Friesian cows together with 70 followers and two stock bulls – a British Friesian and Hereford. Cows go out early on to rape and turnips etc. so they get their protein that way
  • Land is in rotation - stubble turnips, wheat, oats, five year grass ley
  • Investment in renewable energy with wind turbine on the farm 

Qualifications/ achievements/ experience

  • Mentor under the Young Entrants Support Scheme for five years
  • Financial studies, degree Institute of Bankers
  • Bank manager with a major high street bank
  • Member of the Agricultural Land Tribunal 
  • Chairman of the Soil Association Farmers and Growers Board
  • Work with the European Commission civil dialogue group for milk


“The most important thing you can do when starting out is to make sure you think carefully about what you’re going to do. Also, get some help to challenge your thinking to make sure the idea you’ve got is robust enough to stand up in the modern, commercial world of agriculture.”

“Enthusiasm is critical, but it is no guarantee of success either. Have a business plan of what you want to achieve, get someone to challenge it and you will get there. Harness that energy as well, if you’re keen and prepared to work hard to make your business succeed then you will.”