AN AWARD-winning dairy farmer has started to diversify his farm through the opening of a new milk shed at Crockers Grange Farm in Ipplepen. 

After returning from New Zealand, Niall Tewson decided to move away from the family tradition of farming sheep and beef and instead establish South Devon Dairy a dairy farm with a herd of Jersey cows.

It's been a long road to get to where South Devon Dairy is now (South Devon Dairy)

Although the decision earned Niall the Devon Dairy Farmer of the Year last year, the road hasn’t always been an easy one. Starting South Devon Dairy in 2021 meant that the business soon entered a turbulent time. Like many farms, diversification was a clear means to helping the farm weather spiralling costs and fluctuating milk markets. 

‘We’re not different to other businesses,’ said Niall. ‘We’re feeling pressures from the powers above, from the milk prices to inflation and energy costs. I’ve got a young family now and I wanted to look at new ways of supporting us.’

(South Devon Dairy)

However, Niall was also keen to contribute more to a community that he’d been a part of since childhood.

He added: ‘I’m so pleased to be doing what we’re doing. Every time you’re up there you stop to have a conversation, you meet their family, they meet mine. I grew up in the village so giving a service to the local people is really rewarding. I’ve appreciated the support that everybody has given us all the way through.’