The Story of Church Farm
The Bowerman family have been farming at Church Farm for 40 years. The farm is situated opposite the church in the heart of the village of Semley, on the Dorset/Wiltshire border, just east of the A350. The 17th century farmhouse is one of the oldest buildings in the village with historic connections to the church. The front door is directly in line with the Church door, there is even a confessional box within the oak panelling of the main hall of the house.
Jacob is the third generation of the family milking cows at Church Farm, alongside his uncle, Alan and his father, Graham. The milking herd is made up of 140 British Friesian cows, all home-bred and all graze over the park land, stretching out beyond the farm.
The farm sits on the Kimmeridge clay of the Nadder Valley, providing the perfect soil to grow the rich supply of lush grass for the cows to enjoy all through the year. When Autumn turns to Winter and the weather becomes too wet and cold, the cows have lovely cosy sheds to live in with deep comfy beds and access to large roaming spaces. They continue to enjoy home grown grass silage which has been foraged during the Summer.
The farm differs slightly to other dairies, in that all the calves that are born are kept and raised on the farm to either join the milking herd or to be sold as beef store cattle. The farm is also home to a small flock of sheep that lamb during March.
The farm is proud to be recognised under the “Red Tractor Farm Assured Scheme” and as an accredited herd under the ‘Premium Cattle Health Scheme’.
The farm is accredited Free-Range, through the Pasture Promise scheme, guaranteeing that our cows have access to grazing for a minimum of 6 months of the year. Our cows already do graze for this time period, often longer. We wouldn't have it any other way and you can really taste the difference in the milk from grass-fed, free-range cows.
The British farming industry is going through a time of great uncertainty and loss, more than half of British dairy farms have sold up since 2002 due to the falling milk prices. The statistics are frightening and soon we will have no fresh, local milk left. Alongside this we also feel that we have lost our connection with the consumer and have no idea where our milk ends up, usually travelling hundreds of miles to be processed.
As a family we have decided to take matters into our own hands, to process and sell our milk straight from the farm. We want to give our local community the opportunity to buy their milk from the cows they see grazing on their doorstep, as fresh as it can be! We are excited that our new venture has begun and we are thrilled that we can now give everyone the opportunity to enjoy our fresh, whole, non-homogenised milk, with the good old fashioned cream line, as nature intended!