6 October 2020

 

Two brothers are aiming to build on the success they have achieved in their large-scale dairy farming business by providing an opportunity for a share farmer.

Alun and Paul Price run a herd of 800 Holstein Friesian cows and followers on 240-hectare Gelliargwellt Farm near Nelson, where they also run a waste management and recycling company.

Attention to detail is central to their farming philosophy – they recently installed a 64-point rotary parlour and cow health and fertility are monitored with ear tags.

But managing all areas of the business to such a high standard is becoming a greater challenge now that they are in their sixties so, to maintain this and to take the business forward, they want to establish a share farming agreement.

“We are getting older and have tried the herdsman route but it hasn’t been very successful,’’ Alun admits.

They are hoping to find a solution via Farming Connect’s Venture programme.

This initiative is designed to pair up landowners who are looking to step back from the industry with new entrants and offers funding for business planning and legal guidance.

“We had read about the success other farmers have had with Venture and thought it could help with our situation,’’ says Paul.

They would like to repeat the success of those share-farming ventures on their own farm by offering an agreement to a prospective dairy farmer.

“We have spent a lifetime working to achieve what we have on the farm and want to maintain that and add further improvements,’’ says Paul.

The ideal candidate would be an individual that shares their philosophy, he adds. “When I look at a cow I don’t think to myself ‘I wonder how much money she is going to make me’, I see her for what she is, a healthy animal.’’

The all-year-round calving herd produces around 7 million litres of milk annually from a three-times-a-day milking system with milk supplied to Sainsbury’s.

The herd is fully housed and fed a Total Mixed Ration (TMR) which incorporates top-quality maize and silage.

The liquid element from the slurry is fed into the farm’s anaerobic digestion plant and the solid element is dried and used as livestock bedding. 

Sexed semen is used on all the heifers and all herd replacements are homebred.

"The dairy unit is extremely well run and we wish that to continue,’’ says Paul.

Attracting the right person through Venture is therefore important, he adds.

“We want someone to enjoy the satisfaction of taking forward a first-class enterprise, we want to maintain and develop a more profitable future for everyone.’’

If you think you could be the perfect match for Alun and Paul complete a Venture profile here to start your journey towards a joint venture. Alternatively you can contact Delyth Jones who is the Venture Officer for South Wales by emailing delyth.jones@menterabusnes.co.uk or telephoning 01970 631 422.  

Venture is designed to match farmers and landowners who are looking to step back from the industry with new entrants looking for a way into farming. It guides people on both sides through the key steps required to find a potential business partner. An integrated package of training, mentoring, specialist advice and business support will equip participants with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to help them achieve their goals and establish a joint venture.

Farming Connect, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.


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