Suffolk family to become Sark’s new dairy farmers
THE SALISBURYS, a Suffolk dairy farming family, are to become Sark’s new supplier of milk and cheese.
Earlier this year a search began following the retirement of the former dairy farmer and it attracted interest from as far afield as Scotland, the US and New Zealand.
However, it was Katharine and Jason Salisbury with their children James and Emily, and Edd the sheepdog, who were selected to take on the unique role supplying the 500 or so permanent residents and thousands of summer tourists.
The family currently run a herd of pedigree Guernsey cows on a farm near Needham Market, and already make their own award -winning Suffolk cheeses from their Guernsey herd.
Mrs Salisbury said: ‘We will continue to manage our Suffolk farm and cheese-making enterprise from Sark and have hired a farm manager from Northern Ireland to look after the daily running of the farm and the existing staff and customers.’
It is anticipated that the new dairy will be in operation by early 2021 when the residents will be able to sample home-produced milk, via a vending machine.
Groundwork will commence this Autumn, a trust has been set up to project manage the new dairy which will include an education section where youngsters can learn about milk production.
In 2017, existing dairy farmer Chris Nightingale decided to retire and sold his herd as it was impossible to keep farming on the sites he was using due to problems with land tenure and old equipment.
Now the newly formed Sark Community Dairy Trust has had 40 acres of land donated by the island’s Seigneur Christopher Beaumont on which to build a new dairy.
The trust will fund and own the dairy and lease it to the new farmers who will operate it as tenants.
The Salisburys will also import 16 in-calf Guernsey cows and heifers from Guernsey to Sark in early 2021 to calve around mid-springtime. Neighbouring farmers will also grow feed crops for the dairy herd.