Lesley Griffiths is urging farmers to apply for support through a new project to improve the health of herds and boost the future sustainability of the dairy industry.
The new HerdAdvance project, which is being launched at the Dairy Show, is part of the Welsh Government’s £6.5m Dairy Improvement Programme, funded through the Rural Development Programme.
Support will be available for dairy farmers to improve the performance of their business by better cattle health and welfare, through working with their vet to deliver cattle health action planning.
The new project, delivered by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) Dairy, will provide financial and technical assistance on herd health management and disease control. With the UK leaving the European Union in five months time, it will provide timely support, delivering interventions to improve the profitability and performance of the industry at a crucial time.
Dairy farmers are able to submit expression of interest in the first window of applications until 30 November.
The Cabinet Secretary will today officially open the Dairy Show and will tour the Showground. At the Show, the Cabinet Secretary will also present the FUW’s annual ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Welsh Dairy Industry’ and the NFU Cymru / NFU Mutual Welsh ‘Dairy stockperson of the year’ awards.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“Brexit means we have the opportunity to do things differently but there will also be many challenges.
“As a Government, we are doing all we can to support the industry prepare for Brexit and the challenges it will bring. The need to prepare for a post-Brexit world has never been more essential.
“Earlier this year I announced £6.5m for AHDB Dairy to deliver our Dairy Improvement Programme, which aims to improve the profitability, sustainability and resilience of the industry. Today the first phase of the programme launches and dairy farmers will now be able to apply for support to help improve the health of their herds and the profitability of their businesses.
“I encourage dairy farmers to make use of this invaluable support and to submit their expressions of interest by 30 November.
“I look forward to opening this year’s dairy show and am confident the dairy industry in Wales has a very bright future.”
Welcoming the new HerdAdvance project, Professor Christianne Glossop, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales said:
“Ensuring optimal animal health and welfare is key to the success of livestock businesses, and is one of main goals of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework. AHDB’s initiative will help dairy farmers and their vet embed cattle health planning in the business. I would urge all dairy farmers in Wales to consider, with their vet, whether they can make use of this important new opportunity”.