Cheshire has a new NFU chairman who will serve a term of two years from 2013 through to 2015.
Dairy farmer Richard Fair of Brookside Farm in Poulton, Pulford near Chester succeeds fellow dairy farmer Rob Ford.A dairy farmer his entire life, 57 year old Fair vowed never to get involved in agricultural politics again after resigning as a director of Dairy Farmers of Britain – yet here he is preparing to lead the NFU in Cheshire.
"My shoulder still hurts from NFU Cheshire Council Delegate Stuart Yarwood shoving it up my back several years ago," joked Fair who milks 600 dairy cows at his 800 acre farm near Chester.
Radical changes to the farm began to happen in 1994 when Richard was faced with the stark reality of heavily investing in the dairy venture or getting out all-together.
"We sold off three of our traditional units and built a new purpose built dairy on a green field site with the capacity to house 1,000 cows if the business demanded it," explained Richard.
"We are currently running at 600 cows and are selling into First Milk’s international contract. Looking forward to my role as NFU Cheshire County Chairman, I do consider myself to be a bit of a one trick pony." "All I know about is the dairy industry, but I’m willing to learn and want to hear from all sectors, so pick up the phone."
An NFU member all his life, Richard was always heavily involved in YFC and this led on to him becoming involved with the NFU in Chester. He milks his cows in a rotary parlour and his cows are housed indoors for 365 days of the year.
Fair added: "Constantly keeping the cows indoors is something I never thought I’d do but now I wouldn’t consider any other system. I believe in it entirely for increased productivity and animal welfare."