Open-Air Dairy Farming Innovation in the UK

Open-Air Dairy Farming isn’t just a venture; it’s a testament to vision, resilience, and unwavering dedication. Neil Grigg and Tom Foot, the dynamic duo behind this remarkable enterprise, embarked on their journey fueled by friendship and a shared aspiration to launch a dairy farming venture, focused on innovation. Their story began humbly, 15 years ago, devoid of land or cows, yet brimming with ambition.

Fast forward to today, and their enterprise thrives across two locations, Dorset and Devon. In Dorset, established in 2011, they steward 300 hectares of lush grazing land, milking 650 cows with two mobile milking parlours.

Meanwhile, in Devon, on their existing youngstock milking started managing 140 hectares of grazing land and 350 cows with a single mobile milking parlour. Both farms adhere to a meticulously orchestrated spring calving pattern, a testament to their operational finesse.

Neil and Tom’s approach to dairy farming is nothing short of revolutionary. While conventional methods dictate moving cows to the parlour, they ingeniously move the parlour to the cows. This innovation not only eliminates the need for slurry production and costly infrastructure, like housing and storage, but also fosters a sustainable environment conducive to the well-being of their contented cows.

In their pursuit of excellence, Neil and Tom leave no stone unturned. A recent investment in a new mobile milking trailer for the Devon unit demonstrates their commitment to innovation. Crafted in-house by team members Stuart Horsley and Jim Hardcastle, this bespoke 24/48 mobile unit, complete with feeding capabilities, exemplifies their ingenuity.

Their dedication to sustainability extends beyond the parlour. A modified container serves as a plant room and washroom, housing innovative water-saving technology. With additional valves in the plant washer, they separate and reuse water, conserving approximately 1 million liters of water annually.

Partnering with Dairy Farm Services Ltd and utilizing MilktechNZ® equipment, Neil and Tom have found unparalleled support. The integration of MilktechNZ® equipment, including lift-and-go cylinders, intuitive LED buttons, and high-capacity milk clusters, ensures operational efficiency and, most importantly, the comfort and well-being of their staff.

The MilktechNZ® equipment each parlour is equipped with consists of:

  • CR-1 automatic cup removers with lift and go stainless steel cylinder and integrated shutoff solenoid
  • Multi-coloured LED switch informing the operator of the milking status for each cow
  • P-1 pulsator one per point
  • MC-1 375ml high-capacity milking cluster
  • CW-1 cluster washers
  • Receiver unit

Neil’s enthusiasm for MilktechNZ® equipment is palpable. “Chuffed to bits” with the ACR’s and the overall parlour experience, he attests to the superior quality and comfort of New Zealand dairy technology. For Neil, anything that comes out of New Zealand and dairy-oriented is a welcome addition to their operation.

Open-Air Dairy Farming isn’t just a success story; it’s a testament to the power of innovation, perseverance, and partnership. As Neil and Tom continue to forge ahead, their journey serves as an inspiration to all those who dare to challenge convention and carve their path towards a sustainable future in dairy farming. Congratulations Neil and Tom, and welcome to the MilktechNZ® family.

Click here to learn more about Open-Air Dairy Farming.