Diversey’s agriculture hygiene brand Deosan, together with leading industry consultants, Promar International, have announced Fen Farm, a third-generation family dairy farm in Suffolk, UK, milking 300 Montbeliarde cows, is the winner of the #WeAreDairy Award.
The global award was launched in February 2021, with the aim of recognising, celebrating and publicising the positive innovations, improvements and actions being made on dairy farms on a global scale.
The judging panel was particularly impressed with Fen Farm’s ingenuity and thorough research into each of their sustainability projects. Their sustainability journey started in 2011, with the installation of solar panels. In Summer 2019, they laid 1500 metres of water pipes into a bed of sand beneath a new shed, which heats water for use in the cheese and butter production buildings, as well as the parlour, office building, houses and other buildings on the farm. January 2020 saw the installation of heat exchanges on compressors throughout the farm, harnessing heat and using it to cool milk and heat the preheat tank.
The straw burner, installed in October 2020, heats water for parlour cleaning and the cheese and production buildings, and since entering the competition, further solar panels have been installed, plus the addition of battery power storage, so no solar-generated electricity is wasted.
As part of the award, Fen Farm will receive the generous prize of $10,000, which they have said they will be spending on additional sustainable improvements to the business.
Jonny Crickmore, farmer and owner of Fen Farm, explained, “We are absolutely honoured to have won, even more so with it being a global award. We really didn’t expect our idea of taking heat from cow muck would result in an award, but we’re delighted to be able to share our story with others, which will hopefully inspire others to be more sustainable. Over the last ten years, our business has grown considerably, and it felt right to consider more closely how much energy we are using, both from a business and efficiency point of view, and also for my conscience, so to be recognised for that is a great feeling.
“We’re going to put the prize money back into the business, on a sustainable improvement that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford, likely an electric vehicle for use on the farm to replace the current older diesel vehicle.”
Added Alison Cox, Agricultural Global Application Specialist, Diversey: “We have been extremely impressed with the quality and range of entries made since the launch of the award; dairy farmers across the globe are making extraordinary progress in the innovative ways in which they are adapting to improve animal welfare and sustainability on their farms. Entries varied from simple practical improvements, such as the recycling of 200l litre drums into calf- drinkers, using second hand astro-turf on cow tracks, internal animal husbandry protocols, regenerative farming practices, and more complex investments in improved technology such as electric vehicles, anaerobic digesters and renewable energy. Most could be easily adopted by other dairy farm businesses, and we hope the examples will serve as inspiration to others.”
Other highly commended entries deserving special mention are as follows:
- Copys Green Farm, Norfolk, UK
- Belvedere Farm, Italy
- Droёvlei Dairy, South Africa
- Bridgwater and Taunton College, UK
Applications for the award were made online throughout the year, with entries closing at the end of August. Judging took place throughout September with the judging panel consisting of Alison Cox, Agricultural Global Application Specialist at Diversey, Daniel Daggett, Executive Director of Sustainability at Diversey, and Matt Sheehan, Principal Consultant at Promar International.
To further illustrate the progress of the innovation and advancements, and promote the industry around the globe, Diversey and Promar will publish a report highlighting the impact on climate and welfare if the processes carried out by the finalists were applied by the international dairy farming community. For more visit wearedairy.com