They say a dog is a man’s best friend; but if you ask farmer Barry Bishop, his cows easily take the title. Since becoming a dairy farmer almost five years ago, and operating Bishop’s Farms in East Point, St Philip, he has thrown his all into his livelihood –– and it has paid off.
Today, Bishop, who produces nine per cent of Pine Hill Dairy’s (PHD) total intake of local milk, was rewarded with a certificate of recognition for having the Best Overall Milk Quality for the first quarter of this year.
“I was excited,” he said about receiving the award; but he described it as “predictable”.
“I do my best at all times, and the workers that I have here also produce the standard that I expect of them.”
Bishop, who passed all of the dairy’s criteria for the submission of milk with flying colours, told reporters today he produced good quality milk by focusing on two key areas.
“Hygiene is one, the quality of product you feed to the cow. The grass is not very much; so you have to supplement with other products to keep the protein up and to keep the animals in condition also.”
With a chuckle, he said he had done nothing really special but put in hard work as he cared for his 127 cows –– with the help of his three workers –– along with his sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens and peacocks.
“We start on mornings at 5:30 and finish around 7:30 or so. After that we clean down, the cows go out to pasture, they return around 3:30 for the second milking –– we milk twice a day. Production is about 1,000 litres,” Bishop explained.
PHD’s daily operations manager Lorenzo Roach, who presented the certificate of recognition to Bishop, said it was not only
an achievement for the farmer and the dairy, but for every Barbadian.
“Having a raw material of that high standard ensures that as a dairy producer we can give to the consumers an exceptional product. So it is just a token of recognition, and we thought it appropriate given the relationship we have continued to build
with the farmers over the years.”
Roach added that it was the first of what he hoped would be many awards to come for the 17 farmers who supply the dairy with milk.
“This is a programme we have put in place where we will recognize those outstanding dairy producers in the country; and at the end of the year we will recognize the single most outstanding farmer.”