South Corton is UK family farm of 2018

The Kerr family at South Corton farm won the family business of the year award at the British Farming Awards.
The Kerr family at South Corton farm won the family business of the year award at the British Farming Awards.

The South Ayrshire farm run by the Kerr family at South Corton has been voted UK family farming business of the year.

W W Kerr & Sons took the gold award at the 2018 British Farming Awards held in Birmingham and supported by Morrisons.

William Kerr and son, David, 19, take on its day-to-day running of the dairy farm, William’s wife, Alison, works in the coffee shop and plant nursery, with daughter, Joanne, 16, helping on the farm and alongside Alison when she is not at school.

Faced with a fluctuating dairy market coming to a head with recent crippling milk prices, the Kerr family needed to secure the future of their farm business. So last year the family opened the Coo Shed, a 70-seat coffee shop followed in June this year by the Milk Hoose, a milk vending machine which allows customers to purchase the Kerr’s milk directly from farm after it has been pasteurised by a local farmer. Both are now run alongside the 220-head Holstein Friesian herd and plant nursery which was established 14 years ago.

The judges said: “This was a very impressive, dynamic business with innovative ideas which have enabled the family to turn their business around after facing serious economic downturn. The involvement of the whole family is clear to see.”

“All shared the determination needed to drive their dairy farming business forward alongside the diversification enterprises which have added to its success.”

“We are rifling a milk craze and promoting pure milk, with a little bit of cream on top and people love it,” said Alison.

“For some, it brings back childhood memories with the glass bottles and no plastic cartons. At a time when the next generation are getting passionate about reducing plastic pollution and what we are doing supports that.”