Katherine Jenkinson

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KW Feeds NEW

The Jersey breed has long been a part of the Jenkinson family’s farming journey, and a passion of Katherine’s since being a little girl.

Her great grandparents established the Heathwaite prefix and Katherine, along with her parents and brother, are milking 155 pedigree Jersey and cross-bred cows, across 83 hectares (206 acres) of owned and tenanted

Katherine, who also works fulltime as a milk recorder, has her own 45-strong herd and is a regular on the show circuit, scooping various awards along the way.

Cows graze outside from late March until the end of October, depending on the weather and condition of the land. They are run on a low-input, lowoutput system, on a mainly grass-based diet, fed alongside a ration of silage, wholecrop and brewers grains, and a protein cake fed in the parlour.

Calving takes place all year round and cows calve outside where possible. The herd is currently averaging 18kg at 6.1 per cent butterfat and 4.04 per cent protein.

In March 2020, as lockdown commenced, Katherine took the opportunity to explore the idea of diversifying into vending machines, successfully securing a loan to start the business.

Starting with one milk vending machine and selling to family, friends and local residents, Katherine began supplying fresh pasteurised Jersey milk and a glass bottle dispenser, alongside selling local eggs, cheese and chutney.

Word of mouth has been the biggest advertisement, but the Jersey calves have also been a huge attraction, located in calf pens across from the vending machine.

Katherine is selling about 60 litres of milk per day through the vending machine on a weekend, with the rest of the farm’s milk supplied to Yew Tree Dairies.

She has also built up a considerable customer base of people who are lactose-intolerant, but have found they can digest the Jersey milk, thanks to the protein found in the breed which is A2 beta-casein and processed differently by the body.

In March 2021, Katherine expanded her product portfolio with the introduction of milkshakes and, in October of the same year, locally-sourced ice-cream after installing a freezer vending machine.

Keen to develop the business further, in February this year two weighted vending machines were installed to enable her to stock a greater range of locally sourced products, including jams, peanut butter, cakes and tray bakes to name a few.

The vending machines work on weight, so a customer will scan their card and then when they take products out of the vending machine, it will calculate which products have been removed and charge the customer accordingly.