Former Reaseheath agriculture student and progressive dairy farmer, Neil Roberts applied for the John Platt Travel Scholarship to explore how to get the most out of his high-yielding dairy herd.

Neil Roberts, John Platt Travel Scholarship award winner.

Neil Roberts, John Platt Travel Scholarship award winner.

Fluctuating milk prices across the UK dairy industry means that traceability, record keeping, drug usage, welfare and compliance dictate the top end of milk contracts in the UK. With this in mind, Neil chose to use the John Platt Travel Scholarship bursary to research ways of maximising the potential of all areas of his business while ensuring that the welfare of his cattle remained paramount.

We caught up with Neil to see where the John Platt Travel Scholarship took him! 

Bergharen, Holland

I initially travelled to  Berghern, Holland in June 2015 to take part in a ‘Cow Signals’ conference where I spent time with Dr. Joep Driessen, a global advocate in identifying, analysing and discussing cow behaviours. The ideology behind ‘Cow Signals’ encourages vets, advisors and dairy farmers to view the farm environment from a cow’s perspective so that methods of best practice can be employed. After completing this fast track course I’m now a Master Trainer for The Cow Signals Company, so that means I’m now able to advise my fellow dairymen on how to improve the wellbeing of the modern dairy herd.

Wisconsin, USA

Next stop, my research took me to the heart of America’s dairy land where I took part in an advanced course in cow and people management at Alta University, Wisconsin. This intensive 5-day course brought together a host of progressive dairy farmers and other industry professionals from around the world for a series of lectures led by industry experts in dairy economics, fertility, cow health, staff leadership, genetics and dairy automation. This was a unique opportunity to share information and knowledge, and to forge some very helpful international contacts. I also had the chance the chance to visit and gain some invaluable advice from some of the most successful dairy producers in the USA.

In nutshell, the John Platt Travel Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for young, progressive rural people to have the opportunity to travel and learn from some of the best agricultural (or in fact any industry of your choice) businesses in the world. These experiences encourage you to become more proactive and produce that extra ‘attention to detail’ that can make your business even more successful.”

Are you looking to progress in your career? Are you a budding entrepreneur looking for some industry insights? Come along to our John Platt Travel Scholarship information evening on Wednesday 22nd March, 7pm start. Find out more about the evening and register your interest here.