In the remarkable year of 1994, a vision grew among five visionary farmers who dared to reimagine dairy. This vision was an Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative (Omsco as we have been known until now) – an embodiment of their shared belief that farming could be better and kinder.

Fast forward nearly three decades, and the flame that ignited within those ‘founding farmers’ still burns bright. From those humble beginnings, we have grown to encompass a diverse community of farmers from every corner of the country, to now become Organic Herd.

Each one of our herd carries a unique story. Explore below, to learn more about our farms, our cows, and the farmers who make it all happen.

Marian & David

Marian and David have a wildlife and cow safe haven in Sussex. They have 150 Ayrshire and Friesian cows who enjoy grazing the farm outdoors for most of the year, enabling them to have a mainly grass-based diet. No agrochemicals have been used on the land for over 25 years. David understands the importance of caring for the soils – a vital asset to any organic farmer in order to keep the grass growing nutritiously. The cows graze on the traditional pastures of Pevensey Levels, as well as fields sown with deep rooting, nitrogen fixing, and medicinal flora (‘herbal leys’), on the higher ground, and so can pick from the many plant species within the hedges and fields.

Marian and David and their team engage with visitors and the local community about their farm, regularly talking at events. They have converted an old farm building into a holiday home called Moorhen Cottage and encourage the residents to visit the farm and talk about their system and the wildlife it supports.

Integration of productive dairy farming with wildlife is pivotal to how David and Marian farm with many habitats protected on farm. In 2011 they created a large reed bed targeting a habitat for the Marsh Harrier whilst also providing for many other species such as Lapwing and Water Rail. Two Barn owl boxes are monitored and the chicks measured and ringed by a qualified expert.

As well as supplying into Omsco, David and Marian process some of their milk to make their very popular drinking yoghurt which is a big hit on the Abel & Cole website.

Russell Ashford

Russell Ashford, a seasoned farmer with over 50 years of experience, has cultivated a legacy of sustainable and organic farming practices. In partnership with his wife Sandy, the farm is based on marginal land and has been a hub of organic dairy farming since 1997. Their dedication to organic farming with an holistic approach has not only resulted in a successful business but has also led to a thriving ecosystem and improved overall animal health.

In 1997 Russell and Sandy introduced organic practices to the farm and very soon saw notable increase in pollinators and wildlife. Grassland is a key asset for the farm, with a focus on clover and legumes which not only provides the cows with a nutritious and natural feed but also provides a maximum carbon sink and natural habitat for various species.

Russell and Sandy takes a keen interest in the biodiversity of the farm and has changed many of their practices to protect and enhance it. One aspect of this is planting new hedgerows and trees across the farm to promote biodiversity, longevity and help prevent runoff – crucial in an area with 90 inches of annual rainfall. Russell also enjoys his hobby beekeeping which contributes to the farm’s biodiversity and ecosystem.

Although the farm has grazing dairy cows, beef and sheep the 90 (individually named!) pedigree Ayrshire cows are the cornerstone of the farm’s organic practices. Russel and Sandy place huge emphasis on providing a natural life for the cows, allowing for extensive grazing from Spring to late November. A long grazing period whilst providing shelter, shade and clean water promotes a more natural and healthy lifestyle for the cows.

Once a week, Russell attends the local farmers market where he sells some of his own produce and other organic products. This serves as a perfect platform for Russel to talk to the public about his passion in addition to his Open Farm Sunday participation and educational initiatives to connect people with the source of their food.

Russell and Sandy Ashford’s organic farming journey is a testament to the positive impact of sustainable practices on both the environment and human health. With a rich history spanning decades, their farm showcases the benefits of organic farming, from increased biodiversity and wildlife to healthier livestock and a stronger connection between people and their food sources. The partnership’s commitment to organic farming serves as an inspiration for a more sustainable and healthier future in agriculture. Russell and Sandy look forward to passing the mantle across to the next generation, their daughter Emily who shares her parents passions for sustainable dairy production.

Graham & Sandra Vallis

We have been privileged as a family to dairy farm on the Duchy of Cornwall Estate at Bradninch since 1959.  Prince Charles (or should I say King Charles) has been our landlord throughout.  First my father, followed by myself and now we are in the process of handing over the tenancy to my daughters Laura & Emily.  The Duchy of Cornwall is really a trust fund for the eldest son of the Monarch.  Our farm has been part of the Duchy since it was set up in 1337!

The Prince was always interested in both the tenants and the Duchy and we have been privileged to meet him on several formal occasions such as garden parties at Highgrove & Buckingham Palace and informally on his visits to farms including our own.

We feel lucky for this relationship and when we first looked at converting to organic in the early 1990’s he opened doors for us to visit both his own farm and other leading organic farms.  He was a very caring landlord and has taken time to write to us in times of family loss and illness.  We will miss him now that he has been promoted to the “Big Job”!

We were lucky enough to go to St James’s Palace for the handover to Prince William and had a chance to meet our new landlord.

We have many treasured memories of King Charles that will stay with us forever.

Wicton Farm

Wicton Farm run their farm of 85 Holstein/Friesian cows in a way in which they believe “helps heal our planet using regenerative, mindful and sustainable methods.” Every aspect of their farming system is designed with cow wellness and negative environmental impact in mind.

One main aspect of their farming system is their grazing – Wicton Farm are committed to 100% grass-fed cows. Achieving this is a testament to the great land management skills of the team, as relying solely on grass is not an easy thing to do with the UK weather!

The farm regularly invites placement volunteers onto the farm to help with all aspects of the farm. The volunteers are often encouraged to focus a portion of their time doing what interests them. This could be monitoring biodiversity (of which there is an abundance!), measuring soil health or grass utilisation.

When asked about their farming system Claire said “We challenge ourselves to work with nature on a deeper level year on year. We want to allow the farm to be a platform for wellness, learning and creativity”.

We couldn’t help ourselves and made a pit stop at @lowsizerghbarn, a local farm shop and cafe in Lake District. And guess what? They have THE best organic dairy products. We spotted Organic Herd looking all vibrant on their shelves 😉 Nothing like a surprise visit to find our goodies!

#OrganicHerd #HowWeFarmMatters #Spotted #OrganicDairy #OrganicFarmer #FarmShop #ThingsToDoInLakeDistrict
Cheers to Mike & Shirley Cartner of Low Ploughlands Farm, Cumbria, celebrating 25 years of organic dairy goodness! They grilled up success with a sunny BBQ and charity raffle, raising the steaks for their favourite causes.

Fast forward nearly three decades, and the flame that ignited within those ‘founding farmers’ still burns bright at Organic Herd. Each cow carries a unique story, nurtured by a diverse community of farmers from every corner of the country.

#OrganicHerd #HowWeFarmMatters #25Years #OrganicFarmers #OrganicDairy
Time to grab your beers, crisps and cheer on the lads! England’s in the Euros final against Spain – let’s show them how it’s done!

Time to bring it home 🏆🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

#EnglandVsSpain #Euros #Euros2024 #ItsComingHome #BringItHome #GoEngland #OrganicHerd
Here at Organic Herd, we don’t just farm; we nurture the planet. From happy cows grazing on lush fields to boosting biodiversity in bloom, our farming practices scream planet positivity. Our cows are happy, the grass is greener, and Mother Earth is thriving. Farm Members at Work ensure farming sustainably isn’t just what we do—it’s who we are. Here’s to farming practices that put the planet first! 

#OrganicHerd #HowWeFarmMatters #PlanetPositivity #PlanetFirst
Yes, we’ve been busy stocking our products across the country! 🛒

Shout out to CLF Distribution Ltd – one of our trusted wholesalers and distributors for premium goods. From sports nutrition to chilled & frozen delights, they’ve had it all since 1998.

Retailers, farm shops, and delis—join us in stocking the finest award-winning Organic Herd products through CLF and support local, sustainable, and eco-friendly practices. 🤝 AND there’s a 10% off Organic Herd products this July!

We love working with @clfdistribution and seeing where our products are going. Thank you, CLF Distribution!

Contact them at customerservices@clfdistribution.com

#OrganicHerd #HowWeFarmMatters #CLF #Distributor
It’s been an incredible few weeks for British sports, with England qualifying for the Euros, Hamilton’s pole position, and the thrilling matches at Wimbledon. Just as our athletes have shone on the world stage, our products have also been winning big. Check out all the awards we’ve recently won!

Let’s keep the winning spirit alive - wishing England the best of luck for tomorrow 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

#OrganicHerd #ItsComingHome #HowWeFarmMatters #Euros #Wimbledon #Formula1
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