Influential industry role for York dairy farmer

A first generation dairy farmer from Melbourne near York has been chosen to join the national dairy board of the National Farmers' Union.

Dairy farmers like Paul Tompkins are receiving as little as 18 pence per litre of milk they produce from their dairy herds at a time of real financial strain in the farming sector.

Paul Tompkins, of South Acre Farm, joins the board as a co-opted member and has promised to use the position to help better link farmers with groups whose policy directly impacts on farm business.

The role sees him ream up with fellow Yorkshire farmer Tom Rawson, who farms near Wakefield and who was recently elected as the union’s regional dairy board chairman and its national dairy board vice-chairman.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Mr Tompkins said: “I am already a Dairy Ambassador for AHDB Dairy and am passionate about promoting dairy products to the public. However I believe we have to work harder to link in with other organisations whose policies can have a direct impact on farm businesses such as Public Health England and the government departments of Health, Innovation and Education.

“In joining the national board I hope to help with this, offering a range of skills from outside agriculture and a different perspective that will complement other board members from around the country.”

The North Yorkshire farmer only got started in milk production eight years ago when he joined his wife Rachael’s family farm business and admits it is a challenge.

“With our milk price currently at just 18 pence per litre, we are working hard to make our business as efficient and effective as possible,” he said.

“This has involved investing in improved facilities for our 300-strong herd including installing the latest high welfare sand cubicles for them when they are inside.”