Dorset Herdsmen Society forced to close by ‘computers’

A Dorset herdsman says computers have forced his group to close their society.

A Dorset herdsman says computers have revolutionised farming and forced his group of farmers to close their society.

Ron Burt, a member of the Dorset Herdsmen Society, said membership has dropped for the past 30 years from a peak of over 100 in the 1980s.

The club was formed in 1964 for show people and farmers, with the help of the farming ministry.

Mr Burt said that computers are a useful tool for tracking livestock and monitoring data, but they have also dimished the herders’ role.

Swedish company DeLaval introduced the world’s first automatic milking rotary system in 2010.

Mr Burt said “The last dairy we went to see had one of these modern rotary setups where no man was needed on the site, it was all done by computer.

“That’s the way farming has gone.”

The Dorset Herdsman Society was an offshoot from the national organisation, which existed until 2003.

Mr Burt said “Over the last four or five years we’ve managed to keep [the society] going”.

He added that they were glad to reach their 50th  anniversary before it closed.


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