FAMILY AND / OR BUSINESS NAME
Claire and Steven Bland, with son Robert & daughter Elizabeth.
230 cows using modern technology. We milk our cows robotically as this gives our cows the choice to choose when they come into milk, when they chose to go out graze or chose to come inside.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD PEDIGREE JERSEYS?
Our family has been farming pedigree Jerseys for 20 years.
We live in the outskirts of the We live in the outskirts of the village called Clifton, as tenant farmers on the Lowther Estate, which is situated on the fringe of the Lake District in Cumbria.
SUPPLIES / PRODUCES
We produce our own Jersey Ice Cream called Abbott Lodge Ice cream using our own Jersey milk and Jersey cream. We sell our Abbott Lodge Ice cream from our own on-farm Abbott Lodge Ice Cream parlour as well to a mobile ice cream van, local restaurants, local guest houses and farm shops across Cumbria. We also bottle our Jersey milk and sell “Abbott Lodge Jersey Milk” from our Ice Cream Parlour and milk delivery service. We also supply Grahams Family Dairy with the milk from our Jersey cows.
WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR CHOOSING TO MILK PEDIGREE JERSEY CATTLE?
After we lost our dairy herd through foot and mouth disease, it gave us the opportunity to look both the strengths and weaknesses our existing farm business. We decided that the compactness of the Jersey cow with its strong dairy traits of efficient feed conversion, longevity of production and health and management traits provided us with two opportunities to diversify and grow a stronger dairy business. The first opportunity being that the high quality butterfat and protein produced by the Jersey cow enabled us to sell our milk into higher valued markets, and secondly, to give us the ability to produce and market our own Jersey products.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE JERSEY BREED AND IN PARTICULAR YOUR HERD?
Although cows are herd animals, by nature, they all have their own individual characteristic, very much like human beings. For example, I would know exactly which cows in our 230 head of Jerseys are more playful and jovial in nature and which cows like to have their own space and are more reserved. Overall our Jerseys are very inquisitive as well as a little mischievous – I always can count on cow no.148 to come up to me each morning to play at pulling at my Jacket, whilst cow no.158 enjoys pushing me along the yard each morning and cow no. 165 enjoys a good scratch each day on the scratching roller!