Booths Fair Milk – Lancashire

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Richard & Claire Barber, Manor Farm, Garstang, Lancashire

Three miles outside of Garstang, in the heart of Lancashire’s rich dairy country, Claire and Richard Barber milk Holsteins known as the Highhopes Herd. Dairy farming has been tough – having built up the herd on a family farm in Northumberland, they were hit by foot and mouth, had to take other jobs and have been farming again for just 6 years. “Farming is a bit like having kids – nobody tells you how hard it’s going to be,” says Claire, who describes teenage children Billy and Anna as good help with the animals. “We have high hopes for all the girls (cows) and we do this job for the love of it, being paid a fair price allows us to do this with no compromises.”

Being part of the Fair Milk group has been a huge boost for the Barbers. “It’s secured our future, the kids’ futures, investment, moving forward, cow health and well-being; the effect is amazing” says Claire. “And we’re a family business focussing on quality, so we’ve got a lot of similar values to Booths.”

Unlike many of their neighbours, Claire and Richard aren’t Lancashire born and bred, and came to the county only when their farm, on the Fitzherbert-Brockholes estate, became available. So how do they like it? “Well, no two days are the same, the grass is green, the kids are growing, the dogs are happy, the cows are happy, I haven’t got two hours travelling to work, and it’s been a brilliant place to bring up children – and cows!”

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