RMPA Board Directors
The RMPA is run by a Board made up of the eight Directors listed below. These Directors make up the RMPA Committee.
Jonny Crickmore (Fen Farm Dairy) Chair
Jonny Crickmore of Fen Farm Dairy, located on the beautiful Waveney Valley border of Suffolk and Norfolk, looks after 300 grazing Montbeliarde cows who produce raw milk for raw milk cheese and butter made on the farm. In 2018 Jonny, and Bronwen Percival of Neal’s Yard Dairy, started talks with the Food Standards Agency regarding raw milk producers setting up an association to help improve the safety of raw milk and to have a home for all raw milk producers to go to for advice. The RMPA was formed, and full membership began in March 2018. Jonny is also vice chairman of the Specialist Cheese Makers Association. In his spare time, Jonny likes long walks and playing music.
Debbie Vernon (Ellie’s Dairy) Treasurer
Debbie is the joint owner of Ellie’s Dairy based on the North Kent Downs. Founded in 2004 with just 3 goats, this small commercial goat dairy now has 200 milking goats and around 100 youngstock/males. One of the largest producers of bottled raw goat’s milk in the UK, Ellie’s Dairy sells direct to the public mainly via farmers’ markets and mail order. The dairy also produces a range of cheese, raw kefir and handmade goat’s milk soap. The herd is largely pasture/forage fed with free range access to grazing all year round and the farm follows traditional grassland management principles to provide the highest quality, most nutritious forage possible. All the male kids are raised for meat and the older goats are all allowed to retire peacefully within the herd. Ellie’s Dairy is proud to be a member of Slow Food UK and Debbie is also a member of the Goat Veterinary Society committee. Passionate about local, ethical and sustainable food.
Tali Eichner (Plaw Hatch Farm) Membership Secretary
Tali runs the dairy processing at Old Plaw Hatch Farm, a biodynamic, community-owned mixed farm in Sussex. Tali has worked with raw milk for 9 years, and benefits from the farm’s 50 year history of producing and selling raw milk. The Plaw Hatch herd consists of 35 MRI (Meuse Rhine Issel) milking cows, with some Monbeliarde and Danish Red crosses plus followers and a Sussex bull. Calves are mostly reared on for beef on the farm. Being biodynamic, Plaw Hatch operates a closed herd and produces its own feed for the milking herd. The farm also keeps sheep, sows, laying hens, and has a butchery and market garden and sells most of its produce through the farm shop. About a third of the milk produced is sold as raw milk, and the rest is made into a wide range of yoghurts, cheeses, cream and kefir, processed on a small scale on the farm. Tali studied biodiversity conservation and is motivated by environmental and social sustainability in agriculture as well as producing nutritious food. She is excited about the increasing interest in raw milk and the potential of the industry. Tali has a fascination with the microscopic life in milk, and is particularly enthusiastic about sharing ideas and knowledge with other producers and processors.
Jon Cook (Dora’s Dairy) runs the RMPA Affiliate Programme
Jon is a fourth generation dairy farmer, running a 55 cow mixed breed herd with his partner, Sarah. They run a once a day milking, all year round calving system and they have been selling raw milk for two years from their 100 acre farm in North Wiltshire. They are changing to a spring and autumn calving system, where the spring calves will be dairy replacements that will stay with their mothers. The autumn calves will be beef, which will be mainly sold off farm at 6-8 weeks old and before the winter housing period. They also begin mob grazing this year to regenerate the depleted soils, increasing the organic matter to protect their free draining, coral rag based farm from the dry summers and increase the yield for the 10 month grazing season. They raise cow-calf pairs for beef, which is also sold from the farm as well as a very small number of pigs for pork that consume waste milk.
Sarah Appleby (Appleby’s Cheese) runs RMPA event planning & logistics
Sarah was brought up on an organic dairy farm in South Shropshire, after a short stint in London then New Zealand she returned to her roots. Fifteen years and five children later Sarah and husband Paul are the third generation of Appleby’s to farm at Hawkstone Abbey Farm nr Whitchurch. The dairy herd has evolved in recent years to become a grass-based system, the cows are grazed on paddocks with varied herbal leys and the farm is carefully stewarded to ensure a harmonious balance between the herd and the environment. Appleby’s have always valued the delicious milk their cows produce, it’s been sixty years since their traditional raw milk Cheshire cheese was founded. The cheese and more recently the whey butter is now sold internationally. Sarah started selling raw milk from the farm and milkbot in 2015, launching at their annual Open Farm Sunday. The milkbot is mostly visited by the local rural community, it’s situated in a field rather than at the not easily accessed farm, but Sarah welcomes those that make the drive to the yard often in order to visit the cows and catch up on the farm news. Sarah is looking forward to working with the committee and other fellow producers and consumers of raw milk.
Rebecca Mayhew (Old Hall Farm)
Owner of Old Hall Farm Dairy and Farm Shop. New entrant to the dairy and beef sector in 2016 starting with one Jersey cow and three heifers. Currently milking 16/20 in our cow with calf system, total herd running around 80 head including Riggitt Galloway and other beef animals, adding to the diversity of our 500 acre holding – the majority of which is being put down to grass in 2019. We sell and process around 1000L of raw milk per week – 70% as RDM and the remainder as cream, butter, fudge and ghee. Sales are via our own shop, internet and farmers markets. I am passionate about the future of the Raw Milk industry and my main motivation for joining the RMPA is to help those who would like to start on a similar journey whilst expanding my own knowledge and contact base.
Michael Davenport (Cote Hill Farm) keeps us all in order at meetings!
Michael’s interest in Dairy farming started in 1962 when his parents moved to Cote Hill Farm, Lincolnshire. We are a small dairy farm of 184 acres with a milking herd of 80 Friesian/Holstein cows. We produce high-quality raw milk from the grass/clover grown on the farm. In 2004 Michael and his wife Mary started making cheese to make the farm financially viable. As the business grew their two sons, Joe and Ross joined them. Ross on the dairy side and Joe making the cheese. We are now utilizing over a third of our milk production for raw milk cheese. Michael has always had an interest in Education, hosting farm visits, giving work experience opportunities to vet students and students from local schools as well as being a governor for over 20 years. He is now looking forward to developing the RMPA.