We are on a mission to revolutionise the dairy industry. We want to prove that a kinder approach to dairy farming is possible.
Four years ago you helped us put the final pieces of our cow-with-calf dairy system in place.
Today we are inviting you to help us tell the full story behind our farm transformation.
We started changing our dairy farming system 25 years ago. Six years ago we rolled out a cow-with-calf system across the herd. Three years ago we committed to cow-with-calf dairy farming permanently.
By next year we expect the cost of production - in our organic, 100% pasture-fed, cow-with-calf dairy farm - to be less expensive than intensive, commercial milk production.
We think our journey to net-zero, high-welfare, agroecological dairy farming has something to contribute to the current debates about sustainable food production. So we wrote a book.
‘A Dairy Story’ is the story of transforming our farm over that 25 year period, but it’s much more than that.
It's the story of us; of our marriage, our business and the people who have helped us achieve a resilient, climate-friendly, circular food system. It’s also the story of this place; the landscape, the soil, the wildlife and the herd.
The world is changing very quickly. Farming needs to change too.
This book doesn’t claim we have all the answers. Far from it!
It’s a story about the challenges that change brings, the problems that need to be overcome and, at times, the very personal consequences of moving away from conventional practice to an approach that centres the environment and climate.
There is no time like the present, and self-publishing seems to be the fastest way to get our story into the hands of those who might want to read it.
But more importantly, when we launched our crowdfunding campaign in 2018, we loved the way this platform gave us an opportunity to connect directly with people who were genuinely interested in what we are trying to achieve. You even encouraged us to organise a conference!
Crowdfunder seemed like a practical and pragmatic way to pre-sell our book, and pre-selling it means we’ll have a rough idea of how many copies to print, which means we'll minimise waste.
There are lots of influential voices expressing very polarised opinions on livestock farming right now. We hope our story has something to contribute to those broader industry debates, which is why we want to publish this quickly.
We also hope that people will find the book interesting and enjoyable to read.
Well we’re probably not the best judge of that, so we asked some of the people who are mentioned in the book to review it, and we asked friends who are writers to read it too. Some of their feedback and comments are below.
Will it be published and distributed in high street bookshops?
At the moment we are focusing on doing a limited print run of hardback books for those people who support this crowdfunding campaign. If there’s demand or interest, we certainly won’t rule out publishing this ‘properly’.
Will there be an e-book or Kindle version?
In order to keep things simple, we aren’t adding an e-book version as a reward, but we might publish it as an e-book later this year. We’ve had a quick look at how this is done, and it doesn’t look too difficult so yes, we’ll probably make it available as an e-book in the future. But for now we’re focused on the physical printed book.
When will it be published?
We are aiming for late September or early October 2022. We will be printing the book as a hardback, on FSC™-certified paper stock.
How much will it cost?
Small print runs are more costly than mainstream published books, so we anticipate the book will cost £20 and postage and packaging to get it to you is about another £5, so we are asking for a contribution of £25 for a single copy of the book.
Is the book only available to UK addresses?
We can post it overseas, but please add a donation to cover international postage.
What's the E-book mentioned in the rewards?
In response to emails from people supporting this project we have decided to write a second book that will outline how our farming system works in detail. This e-book will be aimed at farmers and agricultural students, to help make our complete farming system as accessible as possible. Check the project updates or the blog on our website for the full story behind this. We will write it over the winter, and will publish it either free or at nominal cost in early 2023.