Dairy farmers and Nuffield Scholars Robert Craig (Farmers Weekly Dairy Farmer of the Year) and Rob Richmond debate producing milk from grass and bag nitrogen versus herbal leys and mob grazing.
Rob Richmond was born and brought up on a family farm in North Yorkshire. He gained an honours degree in Animal Science at Edinburgh University, before embarking on a career in farm management.
Over the last decade he has gained an insight into holistic farm management, and recently became a Nuffield Scholar – looking at ‘The benefits of rebuilding soil carbon to agriculture and the environment’. The knowledge gained through his travels are now being applied to the dairy farm he manages in the Cotswolds. Robert Richmond is viewed by many as a leading light in the development of mob grazing systems in the UK
Robert has been dairy farming for almost 30 years during which time he has grown the family business from just 40 cows on 160 acres in the mid 1980’s to almost 1000 cows today farming over 1100 acres. Inspired by practical grassland thinking from New Zealand, Robert and his wife Jackie have successfully developed a highly efficient and robust dairy farming operation on two units in the lush pastures of the Eden Valley in Cumbria.
Rejecting the push towards increasing confinement dairy farming the Craigs’ seasonal block calving approach has attracted many thousands of visitors during the past two decades. A 2012 Nuffield Farming Scholarship allowed Robert to travel to India, China, New Zealand, South America and California studying food chain sustainability. In 2014 Robert was awarded the Farmers Weekly Dairy Farmer of the year award. Keen to give back to the farming community Robert held the office of NFU County Chairman in 2010-11 and is now actively involved in the dairy coop First Milk.
Recordings (Youtube videos)