Young farmer, Hallam Duckworth, owns The Dairyy at Honeydale.
Hallam graduated from Harper Adams University with a degree in agriculture and an ambition to own his own farm one day, but in the meantime he’s one of the first young farmers to gain hands-on experience here at FarmED.
Hallam does not come from a farming background but grew up a few miles from FarmED, in the village of Chadlington, and while at school, he worked for a livery yard. He became increasingly involved in the farming side of the business, which inspired him to go on to study agriculture. His degree involved a one year placement at a beef farm near Milton Keynes and his first full time job was on a dairy farm in Berkshire, where he worked for a year, before moving back home to work with a local farmer during lambing.
Hallam shares the frustration of many young, first generation farmers who struggle with access to land. This is one of the issues that FarmED aims to address, providing facilities and encouragement to new entrants in farming by providing opportunities to establish micro businesses in order to gain knowledge and experience and a foothold, which will enable them to progress onto bigger projects.
Hallam’s, trio of Fleckviehs and their calves, which arrived in spring 2021, marked the start of his microdairy venture. Fleckveihs are originally a three purpose breed, used for dairy, beef and draught and Hallam is as interested in the calves as the milk. Unlike more common dairies, where calves are separated from their mothers at birth, or within a couple of days, Hallam’s microdairy will allow the calves to run with their mothers. This is a system that’s called cow-calf dairying in the US.
In the first year, Hallam will be concentrating on producing pasteurised whole milk which will be sold in returnable glass bottles on a doorstep scheme - with collection from FarmED or through a similar box scheme already used by the Kitchen Garden People at FarmED. Running the dairy part time, fitting it around his work as a sheep farmer, also here at FarmED, Hallam will gauge demand as he experiments with running cows with their calves and builds his customer base. What he really wants to do, however, is diversify into ice cream.
‘I think it’s important to take every opportunity and to work hard,’ he says. ‘FarmED is so inspiring. There’s enormous potential to teach people about food production and farming and it’s exciting to be part of that.’