It is hard to express how depressing it is to get out of bed at 5.30am to work a 14 hour day to lose more money. It's difficult to carry on. We are dairy farmers on the north side of Dartmoor National Park with a small herd of 100 milking cows. We are struggling to survive. For every litre of milk we sell we now lose seven pence.
Many macrobiotic dieticians agree that lactose-intolerance in humans is a clear indicator that we shouldn't be munching so much mozzarella. Champions of the Mayr diet will testify that the digestion is the key to healthy body. It's important that we absorb the appropriate nutrients and avoid excess.
A key achievement of the Forum has been to reduce the live export of calves by 90%: now just 2% of dairy calves born in Britain are exported live abroad. Professor John Webster, Emeritus Professor of Animal Husbandry at the University of Bristol speaking at the Calf Forum event emphasised that despite the title of the Forum, it's not about exports but alternatives.
What of the cows that we do not see? Those with little or no access to those fields, those who are tethered and those who are pushed to their limits by excessive milk production? This may not be a familiar image to many of us, but it is the stark reality for a shockingly high proportion of dairy cows across Europe.
As the clocks go forward an hour on 31 March to make way for lighter mornings and British summertime, the sleep patterns of millions across the country will be negatively affected. For insomniacs and sleep sufferers it can create a lasting impact, however there are some tactics, which employed now can ensure an undisturbed routine during the brighter months.
A recent report published by the charity Oxfam revealed that hill farmers work on average 80 hours a week, over double that of the average full time worker and that many farming families find themselves living below the poverty line here in the UK. The report claims that upland farmers earn between £12,600 and £8,000 a year.