Hillsgreen is not just our marketing business, it’s our farm.
The Venables family have been farming at Hillsgreen Farm, since the early 1900s.
Farming 470 acres in total, our founder Andy farms in partnership with his parents – Andrew and Pat, in Cheshire, the heartland of dairy.
Andrew (Andy’s dad) is in charge of herd management and day-to-day operations. Andy brings his business experience to focus on farm business management, alongside what we do at Hillsgreen of course!
How We Work:
Every year we supply 2.3 million litres of milk to Co-op, a partnership we’re proud of. Andy’s been part of the Co-op Dairy Group since it began, 10 years ago. It’s a great way to be involved in how things are run, as well as an opportunity to learn.
If you hadn’t noticed (we do bang on about it quite a lot!), we’re passionate about milk and the part our farm plays to produce such a nutritious product for us all to enjoy. #Mission4Milk
Since Andrew took on the farm tenancy in the early 1980s, he may have lost a bit of hair, but the herd has grown. Cow numbers have been creeping up, alongside children and grandchildren too! (We won’t suggest which caused more hair loss!)
The now 330-strong herd is calved all year round, with a break in calving for two months in the summer, and a month around Christmas.
This helps with management at these times of the year, and also means everywhere can be cleaned out and everyone gets a break from calving.
Everything is put to the black and white bull from July to December, and then the beef bull for the remainder of the year.
In a normal year (although what’s one of those?!), cows go out around March 20, and will come in at night times from October 20. Then they'll be housed day and night from mid-November.
Having been in our family for over 100 years, farming runs in our blood. We know how crucial a strong team is to every farm business. Our farm staff are integral to the success of the business, we’d be lost without them!
Just like in the office, we’re tech lovers on-farm!
Two years ago, Andy started working with farm data specialists Map of Ag, as a demo farm. This has involved Map of Ag staff coming onto the farm, to learn more about farming, which is a pleasure!
This has also furthered our interest in how farm data can help inform decision making. To this end, the business has invested in SmaXtec boluses and Uniform Agri. We’ve reduced carbon emissions this year by sharing information, new technologies and comparing ourselves against similar farms to see how we can improve.