Educational Tours of a Working Dairy Farm
Visiting Farmer Barnes Dairy guides visitors through the process of dairy farming in the UK today. We host 2 hour educational farm tours for school classes, college groups, youth organisations and adult groups throughout the year. Every child should meet a cow, take a tractor & trailer ride through open country, smell the ‘fresh air’ on a real working dairy farm. We can take up to 30 students per visit and the charge is £5 per visitor.
Farms are a stimulating outdoor classroom which is where children and young people can learn about agriculture, but they can also provide the context for delivery of wider subject areas: from Science and Geography, through to Mathematics and History, while giving children the inspiration for Art and Literature. We provide a rich resource that can support a teachers’ work plan, helping them to deliver the curriculum by increasing children’s knowledge, developing understanding and reasoning, building confidence and a range of other life skills when you visit FARMER BARNES DAIRY.
Seasons on the Farm
Calving season happens in the Spring & Autumn, from late Feb to end of May then again from late Sept to November. We milk twice everyday 365 days of the year, morning milking starts at 5.30am and afternoon milking begins at 3.30pm. It ranges from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours to milk our 250 herd. We produce between 2000 litres and 4000 litres every day all year round. Our milk is sold to become Blue Stilton Cheese at Long Clawson Dairies which is 12 miles away.
Each cow needs to give birth every year to produce milk. They are pregnant for 9 months. Their milking lactation lasts for up to 10 months and they need to be pregnant with the next calf during this time. We use bulls and AI technician to get the cows pregnant again, up to three months after giving birth. Our herd is grazed outside naturally on our 400 acres of grass fields, from February to November. We use the NZ rotation grazing system, so all our herd grazes a paddock once every three weeks. Cows like dry grass and no higher than 25cm.
We have two breeds of cows in the herd, Friesians which are black and white and Ayrshires which are brown and white. We do cross breed some with Aberdeen Angus and Limousin bulls. All the calves from the beef bulls will be sold at market to be raised for beef. All dairy heifers will be kept as milking cows in the future. It takes two years for heifers to become cows after they have their first baby calf. All dairy bull calves are sold in to become beef animals. A dairy cow can live for 10 years and can produce up to 50,000 litres of milk in her lifetime.
Your day at Farmer Barnes Dairy will include:
* Your guide Farmer Barnes will give an educational talk for the children
* A tractor & trailer ride across the fields
* A warm dry picnic area for lunch break in the Cow Classroom
* A FREE pre visit for teachers
* Easy access for wheelchair users
* Toilets and handwashing facilities
* Free Parking for coaches
It can be a great learning experience for all children of any age and can provide the following activities:
- Tour the Milking Parlour to learn how we milk our cows
- Take a Tractor & Trailer ride across the fields
- Hear, see and smell the COUNTRYSIDE
- Q & A season directly from Farmer Barnes
- Make butter in the Cow Classroom (if time allows)
- Make informed choices about MILK and healthy nutrition
- Discover what happens on a real-life farm
- Experience what the countryside can offer
- Learn more about environmental issues linked to food and the countryside
***FOR MORE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS PLEASE SEE FAQ’S ON “ABOUT US” PAGE***
“A day in the life on FARMER BARNES dairy farm”
5.30am Start morning milking
7.00am Feed & bed with straw baby calves & other young stock
7.30am Scrap out the manure from the passage ways in sheds
8.30am Finish morning milking & go home for breakfast
9.30am Feed silage & bed with sawdust the cubicle shed for the milking herd
10.00am Time for visitors such as the vet, parlour repairs, feed delivery, milk tanker collection Or field work (ie muck spreading, fertilizer spinning, fencing & gateways) Or yard work (ie moving cows/calves around, mucking out sheds)
12noon Admin time in the Farm Office (Emails, Letters, Bills etc)
1.00pm Go home for lunch
2.00pm Feed silage & scrap out manure from passage ways in sheds
3.30pm Start evening milking
4.30pm Feed baby calves & other young stock
6.00pm Finish evening milking & go home for tea!