Dairy farmers asked to show their pride in industry

DairyCo is working with DairyUK to extend the 'Proud of Dairy' campaign, which will be promoted throughout the event by various industry members, from milk buyers to feed suppliers.

The aim of the promotion is to build a positive image of dairying to promote to the consumer.

Amanda Ball, head of marketing communications at DairyCo, said consumer interest in animal health and welfare meant the dairy industry had an important role in promoting itself.

"As an industry we need to show that no matter what the size or system of dairy farm, there are some messages that stay the same. Added to this, there is real power in numbers and by portraying a united, positive, professional image of dairy we are taking a good step towards fielding off attack from pressure groups."

Ms Ball said there were three simple ways farmers can pledge to show they are proud of dairy at the event:

1. Know and use industry key messages - we are proud of dairy, let's tell the public why they should be too

2. Use the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme resources, to improve cow mobility on farms

3. Sign up in the DairyCo Little Black Book, to help with good news stories to promote dairy farming to the public.

Other industry partners, such as Farmers Weekly, BOCM Pauls and Genus ABS are also joining in with the campaign, so when you visit the Dairy Event this year, look out for Proud of Dairy, the logo Dairy UK developed, Ms Ball said.

Farmers Weekly dairy farmer of the year, Neil Baker, said the industry had a huge amount to be proud of, particularly in terms of herd health and welfare. However, more needed to be done to improve cattle mobility.

"A good starting point is to get involved in DairyCo's Healthy Feet Programme. Improving cow comfort is also crucial in reducing lameness," he said. "The key is to start looking at your system from a cow's perspective. All farmers should be looking at a lying index to assess how many cows are lying down in cubicles at one time."

Mr Baker added that measuring and recording key performance indicators was one simple area where farmers could see big improvements. "Just measuring mastitis incidence or the amount of fertiliser used is a good start."

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