As a sister company to Cream o’ Galloway on the opposite page, we produce traditional cheeses and Organic Ice Cream made with unpasteurised organic milk sourced from our own dairy herd, where we keep the calves with their mothers to suckle. Rainton Farm is the first commercial dairy in the UK to be following the cow with calf method, and we want to demonstrate that cow with calf dairy farming is viable and sustainable at scale. Our ethical dairy model is based around treating the animals, the land, our environment and the people who work here with respect and kindness. As an organic dairy farm for more than twenty years our cows have already benefitted from some of the highest welfare standards in the UK, but we knew we could do even better. We built a new dairy, specially designed to house calves with their mothers, and we trialled the full cow with calf system for the first time in 2012. It taught us a lot, but financially cost us an awful lot. However, the impact it made on cow contentment was staggering. All the animals were noticeably calmer and far more confident. After two to three months the calves became like teenagers, they loved playing with their pals and really only came back to mum when they wanted food! We are determined to make our radical new model of dairy farming work, and by purchasing cheese from The Ethical Dairy you are helping to support it. Take home Ethical Dairy Ice creams & cheeses are available from Cream o’ Galloway Visitor Centre. Fancy a tour? Book online at http://www.creamogalloway.co.uk/visitor-centre/planning-your-visit
Having featured Cream ‘o’ Galloway as one of my attractions, I really couldn’t not tell you about the Ethical Dairy and it’s farm tour. As well as being very educational, this farm tour isn’t like any other farm tour and as you make your way around, you will get to learn first hand just how hard life is for any kind of farmer, not just a dairy farmer. I always liked farming to eating lobster, it takes a lot of hard work for mostly, very little return and here on the ‘Ethical Dairy’ tour, that is something that will become very apparent as you go along. Rainton farm, despite being very successful farmers, have also gone through hard times and this is also that will become very apparent along your tour. Both David and Wilma Finlay, the owners of Rainton Farm and Cream ‘o’ Galloway have worked tirelessly to ensure that your visit is both educational, but enjoyable at the same time and quite frankly, I certainly they have achieved that goal!