Ian keeps a herd of around 200 dairy cows with their followers and 300 sheep, and he grows around 100 acres of whole crop or grain each year. His 400ha farm is a mixture of grazing, rough ground and woodland. The dairy herd are predominantly Holstein or Holstein cross. Ian aims to breed a slightly smaller cow, with good health traits, but one which will still give a reasonable milk yield. He rears his own followers for the dairy herd and keeps the beef calves to fatten or sell as stores.
The organic conversion process began in 1999 with organic milk first being sold in 2001. Organic farming appealed because Ian liked the idea of being able to farm without fertiliser and sprays. He also wanted to give the farm an edge in the marketplace and appreciated the way in which the organic farming community learned from and encouraged each other.
Ian is supported by five loyal and longstanding full-time members of staff and the milk is sold to Muller. The farm has always been ecologically very diverse and Ian enjoys seeing wildflowers and and an abundance of wildlife in the organic pasture.