Duchy Farmer Named Dairy Innovator of 2015
Mark Verity has lived on the Duchy’s Whitewell estate in Lancashire all his life and in recent years has been gradually taking over responsibility for the 700-acreRadholme Laund farm from his father, Stuart. In 2010, Mark attended the Oxford Farming Conference as a Duchy Scholar, having been inspired by the professional approach to dairy farming he had experienced first-hand in New Zealand. When his time came to take over the 380-head herd, Mark wasted no time in applying cutting-edge milking technology and computerised management and monitoring equipment designed to maximise productivity. The net result has been impressive growth year on year.
Commenting on the award, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said: “It’s so encouraging to see the younger generation put their own stamp on a family farm and introduce new ways of doing things. Introducing new practices can be a challenge in the face of historic and well tested methodologies. However, Mark and his family have always had an eye to the future. Back in 2004, the Duchy supported them when they wanted to invest in a state-of-the-art milking parlour at Radholme Laund. This has now culminated in national recognition for Mark as a serious innovator in his field.”
In the citation for the award, the British Farming Awards judges said: “We were impressed by the positive attitude shown by Mark and his team with their sharp focus on the key issues facing the business. Their adoption of some innovative yet practical solutions has given them a clearly defined strategy for future success.”