THE NFU in Cheshire has welcomed a new chairman to serve for the next two years.
Dairy farmer Richard Fair, of Brookside Farm in Poulton, near Chester, succeeds fellow dairy farmer Rob Ford, of Brindley Hall Farm in Nantwich.
Richard milks 600 dairy cows at his 800-acre farm, where radical changes were made in 1994 when he was faced with the stark reality of heavily investing in the dairy venture or getting out completely.
The 57-year-old, who will serve until 2015, said: “We sold off three of our traditional units and built a new purpose-built dairy on a greenfield site with the capacity to house 1,000 cows if the business demanded it.
“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 they are housed indoors for 365 days of the year.
Richard, a former director of Dairy Farmers of Britain, 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.”
He had vowed never to get involved in agricultural politics again after resigning as a director of Dairy Farmers of Britain.
“My shoulder still hurts from NFU Cheshire Council delegate Stuart Yarwood shoving it up my back several years ago,” joked Richard.
After leaving school, Richard was given three options by his parents. He could go to college, work on the farm or get some life experience by travelling across the world.
No sooner had his parents said the words, the round-the-world ticket was purchased. Richard travelled to Canada, the USA, New Zealand and back through Africa. He returned to the family farm and has been there ever since.
He was officially inaugurated into his role at the Cheshire county branch annual dinner earlier this month at The Macdonald Portal Premier Golf and Country Club.
NFU members can email Richard at email@example.com or call him on 07850 700137.