Brampford Speke, Devon
DAIRY, DEVON: Rachel and her husband farm 300 cows on a grass-based, spring calving dairy unit on a 20-year tenancy. The holding was previously sheep and arable but was converted to dairy at their own expense. In 2020 they also began pasteurising and selling their milk through a vending machine direct to the public.
They employ one and half people on the farm and Rachel also works part-time as a farm animal vet.
Rachel grew up on a mixed arable and pig farm, while her husband's family farms a spring calving dairy herd in north Cornwall. It took the couple four and a half years of searching for and applying for farm tenancies all over the UK before they landed the unit in Brampford Speke.
She most enjoys looking after the animals and takes pride in doing this well, wanting them to feel comfortable around the humans tending to them.
The couple have also opened the farm up for Open Farm Sunday each year since 2017 and feel that farmers need to be featured more in news reports so that the public can hear their side of the story.
Rachel is especially interested in challenging reports that claim going vegan is a solution to climate change, feeling that science instead indicates that stopping livestock grazing would result in grassland releasing carbon rather than acting as a sink.
Though she does feel that too much grain is fed to beef, this could well have come about through supermarket demand.
Instead, there needs to be more support for maximising carbon retention and help in demonstrating and explaining this to non-farmers, she says.
National Farmers Union (vice-chairman of the Exeter branch) and the British Cattle Vet Association.
Previous media experience
Veterinary interviews with Farmers Weekly and British Dairying.