The Royal Affiliation of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has appointed Robert Craig, First Milk non-executive farmer director, as its new chair.

The Cumbrian dairy farmer and former RABDF vice-chair begins his three-year tenure right this moment (Tuesday, October 3), taking on from Devon dairy farmer Di Wastenage.

Succeeding Craig as vice-chair is Shropshire dairy farmer Tim Downes.  

Craig can also be at present the First Milk’s vice chairman. All three of his companies provide First Milk, and he additionally represents First Milk at Dairy UK, the place he chairs the Dairy UK farmer discussion board.   

Robert Craig

Commenting on his plans through the tenure, Craig mentioned: “In addition to constructing on the foundations laid out by Di, there are some thrilling tasks that we hope to develop as an affiliation to assist overcome labour shortages within the dairy sector and likewise to do extra to advertise the trade, significantly to the following technology.  

“Undoubtedly, there can even be a concentrate on the right here and now and the impression milk worth cuts are having on farmers and methods during which we, as an affiliation, might help assist our members because the pinch is felt,” he added.

He additionally thanked outgoing chair Di Wastenage, the affiliation’s first feminine chair, for her work, saying: “I’m delighted to be the RABDF chairman and am grateful to Di for the work she has finished throughout her time period and for leaving the RABDF in such a robust place.  

“Di has contributed to a variety of matters, together with the atmosphere, animal well being and welfare, and thru her position as Patron of Girls in Dairy, showcasing the significance of feminine roles and the thrilling alternatives for girls within the sector.”

Craig is a third-generation dairy farmer and operates three dairy farming companies throughout Cumbria and Northumberland, milking 1,500 spring and autumn-calving cows. A previous chair of Cumbria Nationwide Farmers’ Union (NFU), he nonetheless maintains an curiosity in native and nationwide politics each on and off the farm.  

The brand new RABDF chair can also be a 2012 Nuffield Scholar and has labored carefully with The Sustainable Meals Belief since his travels, significantly on the World Farm Metric mission.