The Ethical Dairy at Rainton Farm near Castle Douglas, the UK’s largest cow with calf dairy farm, is to host the one off event in May. It has been developed to create a ‘safe space’ where visitors with concerns about farming can ask questions directly to the farm team.
It’s part of a programme of events and workshops created by the farm and cheese maker in response to requests from members of the public for more information and hands-on experiences.
Dairy owner Wilma Finlay said: “This event is about breaking down barriers and recognising that there are many different reasons why people make the dietary choices they do, and as producers of food we are respectful of the choices our customers make. For example, we have many regular customers who are themselves following plant-based diets but buy dairy produce for their children or partner.
“The idea behind these events is basically to share our experience, explain why we do things the way we do and, where possible, to share our skills. We have welcomed visitors onto our farm for many years, in fact it was feedback from those Cream o’ Galloway visitors that encouraged us to try cow with calf farming in the first place. So we are very much looking forward to running these new in-depth farm events, explaining our approach and creating a safe space where people can ask questions about our farm.”
Her husband David, who pioneered Rainton’s cow with calf farming system, added: “Food production and land use has never been more political or contentious. For as long as the media and big commercial interests continue to whip up conflict and opposition between people who hold different points of view, agreeing a pathway to sustainability and net zero production will be impossible. It’s time everyone started listening to each other.
“We all have a little piece of the solution to climate change, we all have lots we can learn from each other, and we all have a vested interest in the long term viability of our planet. It’s time we stopped the propaganda and starting working together on practical solutions to feeding our population in a climate conscious way.”