The Down to Earth regenerative farming events for livestock producers is back with two events this year, following what the Royal Association Of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has called “unprecedented demand” from the inaugural event held in summer 2022.

This year, high input, high output dairy farm in Somerset and an organic and certified pasture-fed dairy farm in Cumbria will host the Down to Earth events in summer 2023.

Regenerative farming

On June 21, Neil Baker will open his gates at Haselbury Plucknett for visitors to see his high-yielding indoor herd of 1,800 predominately Holstein cows in action.

Cows are milked three times/day on the farm, producing 55,000L of milk. Neil farms 3,200ac of owned, rented and contract-farmed land.

He is one of Arla’s regenerative pilot farms and says for him, regenerative farming encompasses much more than simply focussing on the soil.

Whilst he admits soils are a big area, he prefers using the word ‘circular farming’ over the regenerative farming phrase.

As part of the pilot project, he will be looking to grow maize without any chemical inputs, as well as understanding the economic side by calculating carbon emissions from ‘ghost acres’.

Neil uses digestate from an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant on his farm on the crops he grows, including wheat, barley, peas and grass.

He also has started to establishing important pollinator corridors, which provide a barrier for wildlife.

“Regenerative farming means more than just selling the plough. It’s thinking about the whole farm, as well as the staff and the community,” Neil said.

“They are all part of circular farming.”

Organic farm

On July 6, Mark and Jenny Lee, Park House Farm, Torpenhow, will showcase their organic unit.

Their farm consists of 175 milking crossbred cows, certified 100% pasture fed by Pasture for Life and mob-grazed on a 30-40-day rotation using 2.5km of grazing tracks.

Half of their milk goes into the farm’s cheese-making business and the rest is sold to First Milk.

They are also pioneering selling liquid milk directly to local cafes and farm shops using an innovative plastic saving system, Freshkeg

They aim to achieve their milk’s true value, proofing their farm for the future.