The Dairy with a [Farm] View

John McDowell

About a month ago on a lovely Saturday morning at home I had our coffee machine fired up and was practicing making coffees for whoever wanted to pop round and grab one. A few of the usual suspects showed up for a quick take away but others stayed around for a chat. At one stage the conversation turned to milk, mainly what kind we were using in the coffees and why we had specifically chosen it. Like with a lot of things in Lost & Found, we like to take time to look into the details of what makes the everyday things great and milk is no exception. Over the past year we have done lots of little experiments with every kind of milk in an attempt to find something that tastes great with delicious coffee. Back to Saturday morning and the question of what milk we would use, we decided on Farmview dairies located just outside of Belfast. It turned out that our good friend Vicky knows one of the family farms that supply Farmview with their milk and it didn’t take much to arrange a visit for us.

Fast forward to last week when I went to meet John McDowell at his farm to find out why his milk tastes so great. It was an absolute pleasure hearing John talk about his family run farm with such warmth. It was clear that John was dedicated to his work and the care of the approximately 150  dairy cows that he holds. It was refreshing to hear of the community of farmers that contribute to Farmview and their collective ambition to consistently produce high quality milk. Farmview Dairies gather milk from 11 farms, all intentionally within a 4-mile radius (You can see 5 of the farms from the Dairy itself). This allows the milk to be collected every day from each of the farms, pasteurized that evening ready for bottling the following day.

“Fresh as milk can be,”

John remarks as he reaches into his pocket for his outdated mobile phone (I’m almost sure it was a Nokia 3210). With a cheeky grin he shows me a recent text with the results from this weeks milk testing. I have no idea what the figures mean but John seems pleased and goes on to explain how his quality is rewarded with an extra 1p per litre above the Northern Ireland average (which equals an extra £24,000 a year). Now that’s worth smiling about. John’s a great example of a man who loves his family, his job and is proud of the results his hard work yields. He inspires us at Lost and Found to live life with passion and commitment - thanks John