The survival of dairy farming in the upper Dales across the generations is little short of miraculous, given the remoteness of the location and the privations of those who have made it their life’s work.
Yet it is a story that helps to define Yorkshire itself, and the celebration about to be mounted of the farming families who have filled our supermarket shelves for so many years and for so little reward, is long overdue.
Wensleydale in particular is synonymous with dairy production, and the creamery at Hawes, where the county’s signature cheese is produced exclusively, is now the lifeblood of many of the small farmers who remain.
As the forthcoming exhibition at the nearby Dales Countryside Museum reminds us, farming has changed almost beyond recognition in the post-industrial age, with herds of 80 now considered small.
Let us hope that the continuing march of technology works with these heroes of the hills, not against them.