Strategic Farm: Be bold, be brave and ask 'does my business work for me?'


Our 2017 Strategic Farmer, Johnny Haimes, from Devon, joins Leah Shanks for an open and honest discussion on why he made the decision to disperse his suckler herd and begin rearing and finishing dairy-bred calves extensively.

Johnny will discuss how braving this significant change has impacted his profits and his work-life balance and how valuing his time and seizing opportunities has resulted in a complete change in system that now makes his business work for him.

Luppo Diepenbroek, Independent Grassland Consultant, will attend as Johnny’s mentor who has been present throughout his Strategic Farm journey. Luppo and Johnny have worked together through the transition to a forage-based system, establishing herbal leys and outwintering all stock whilst taking an organic approach. 

This conversation will also touch on setting up good foundations with a dairy farm when looking to source dairy-bred calves as Becky Miles joins from AHDB’s Dairy Knowledge Exchange team.

We will also welcome David Pett, AHDB’s Farm Economics Knowledge Exchange Manager, to share tips on how to first navigate around your figures and then what to hone in on in order to make a profit.

Speaker biographies

Johnny Haimes buys in dairy cross calves together with store cattle and runs them on an outdoor based system, taking the majority through to finish near Plymouth, Devon. Johnny joined AHDB’s Farm Excellence Programme as a Strategic Farmer in September 2017.

Johnny runs a near organic system by not applying fertiliser or sprays and maximising the output of his forage by rotationally grazing 200 acres of herbal leys.

Luppo Diepenbroek was born in Holland and managed his own dairy herd with associated beef enterprise for over 25 years. Between 1988 and 2002, he acted as nutritionist for a farmer co-operative whilst converting the dairy herd at home into a paddock/cell grazing system. He then set up his own business providing consultancy and facilitation services to organic, dairy and beef farmers in the South West of England. The focus of his work has included ways to improve soil fertility and forage quality, how to graze effectively and efficiently, and increasing the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ – in terms of the financial, soil and environmental aspects of livestock farming.

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If you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the details below.

E KE.events@ahdb.org.uk

T 01904 771218


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