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Duchy College Leading the Way in Dairy Animal Welfare Standards

Duchy College's Future Farm facility is setting a new industry standard with its innovative approach to animal welfare.

Situated at Duchy College Stoke Climsland, part of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), Future Farm is an innovative agricultural hub dedicated to enhancing efficiency, welfare and technological advancement in dairy farming.

Ed Parrish, TCCG's Director of Land-based Operations, emphasised the profound significance of Future Farm's mission, stating, "We are dedicated to prioritising the well-being of livestock while fostering technological innovation and sustainability."

This mission is reflected in the custom-built features of the facility, designed to prioritise the comfort and well-being of the 200-strong dairy herd.

With cow cubicles built to reduce risk of injury and allow for increased freedom of movement, an innovative automatic feeding system to keep cattle healthy and content, and the integration of state-of-the-art milking technology and stringent hygiene protocols to significantly reduce mastitis incidence and improve overall herd well-being.

“These efforts have resulted in measurable improvements, which includes increased lying behaviour and reduced somatic cell counts,” continued Ed.

“It’s all part of Future Farm's commitment to leading the way in championing animal welfare standards within the dairy industry.”

The facility’s commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare continues to garner recognition, with recent assessments highlighting the exemplary care provided to its livestock.

Emerging from the winter research period and assessment of the farm’s herd health plans, animal welfare and performance, Future Farm has drawn notable commendations from veterinary professionals.

The metrics evaluated consistently exceeded set targets, surpassing both UK national figures and benchmarks established by Compassion in World Farming. Most notable were the exceptional mobility and body condition scores, along with the minimal need for veterinary interventions.

Anthony James Baggaley, the farm manager at Future Farm, underlined the pride they take in placing emphasis on the welfare of the herd. Anthony noted, "Our blend of cutting-edge technology with compassionate stewardship creates a sanctuary where cows thrive."

“I’m excited that the holistic approach we take will extend beyond its immediate impact, serving as inspiration for the next generation of agricultural leaders, to empower students to champion ethical practices and drive positive change within the industry.”

For more information about Future Farm and the diverse range of land-based education opportunities available at Duchy College, please visit duchy.ac.uk

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