Sponsored by: NFU

Michael & Laura Trayte

Lynwood Farm, M&L Dairying LTD, Staffordshire

MICHAEL and Laura Trayte met while working on a 300-cow organic dairy farm in West Yorkshire for Evolution Farming.

They have since paved careers within the dairy sector, progressing from graduates to assistant herdsperson, herdsperson, herd managers, share-milkers and tenant farmers.

The couple won a 10-year Farm Business Tenancy with Staffordshire County Council last year, supplying Muller Milk and ingredients on a standard contract.

The 53-hectare (132-acre) holding has cross-bred milkers on a low input system, producing as much milk from forage as possible to achieve yields of about 6,000 litres per cow.

Investment from the landlord has seen a new cattle shed installed, holding 100 cubicles for autumn block calving.

What the judges said: “Michael and Laura Trayte have faced various challenges as new entrants but their willingness to establish careers in their own right while adopting innovative business models has definitely contributed to their eventual 10 year FBT with Staffordshire County Council. They are focussed, determined and farm with integrity and ambition.”

On winning:  Michael Trayte said: “We are just shocked. It’s been quite a short journey and we’ve really started from the bottom.”

“New entrants are really important and there are some great opportunities so I would encourage any young farmers just to get out there.”

Laura Trayte said: “In six years we’ve gone from just milking cows to getting our own farm, but we have had a lot of help along the way.”