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Case Study – Courtier Farm

24 June 2019

With two sons keen to work as part of the family farm, Julian Courtier took the decision two years ago to make some big investments to the business he has farmed since 1957. Expanding his beef and arable farm into dairy was a major undertaking, but one which will ensure employment for his children and a bright future for the business. Julian used personal funds, finance from the bank and funding from the Greater Dartmoor LEAF programme to help him develop an energy efficient, contemporary dairy farm alongside his existing farm and B&B business.

Having committed to investing over half a million pounds to expand into dairy, Julian heard about the GD LEAF funding programme and approached the DR Company to help him apply for just over £24,000. He was successful in his application and the money went to investing in specific equipment for the dairy business including vacuum pumps, LED lighting, plate coolers, and EID readers. These items were a small but essential element in Julian’s creation of his dairy expansion.

The dairy farm has been designed using up to date, digital technology and energy efficient equipment, much of which was funded by the money received from GD LEAF. Examples are the variable speed vacuum pump which works on demand saving energy, and paperwork and man hours are saved by the use of EID management of the herd. Plate coolers using private bore hole water and heat exchangers save on electricity usage and a UV treatment and pump ensures safe use of harvested rainwater in the production process.

Now fully functioning, the expansion into dairy has earned a contract with local suppliers Crediton Dairy and by the end of 2019 the Courtiers will be producing 2 million litres of milk a year. Overall the dairy expansion has created 3 full time equivalent jobs and 2 general farm worker posts, including employment for Julian’s two sons who will subsequently be able to keep the farm in the family for at least another generation.

“The DR Company were extremely helpful and supportive throughout the whole application for the GD LEAF funding. While £24,000 is only a fraction of the total amount I have had to finance it was £24,000 I wouldn’t have otherwise had, and provided money to buy specific, specialist items for the dairy expansion that are key to building a business that has longevity for both myself and my sons’ futures.”

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