Time was when we were a dairy farm - before we got Foot-and-Mouth disease and our whole herd was slaughtered within the space of two hours. The farmer milked his herd at 6.30am and 5.30pm 365 days in the year. In Winter this meant all day spent swilling out the parlour, cleaning out the housing, putting down fresh straw, feeding - then starting all over again. Calving meant tramping down the field in the dead of night to see a cow's progress or help her to calve. Calves had to be fed and watered - the job was never-ending and by golly you had to like it to do it.
Now, because the returns on milk price are so low, many small farmers have quit the industry. A small herd is just not financially viable and it is impossible to make a living unless you have a large herd.
Also milk seems to have gone out of fashion here to some extent. When we were kids we had school milk - remember those days. We used to have cardboard bottle tops with a pushy hole in the middle - they were fabulous for making woolly pom-poms too.
When the weather was frosty the frost used to cause the cream to expand and push out the top - it used to be so good to eat - just like ice cream (which it was really, I suppose).
When we were in The Netherlands the other week we realised how much more to the fore in diet milk is there. Our friends gave us glasses of milk to drink; how long is it since you drank a glass of milk? It was cold and delicious and I wondered why we never had it at home. Our friends also drink Buttermilk. I searched at Tesco's this morning and eventually found a small carton, labelled 'for cooking'- well nobody has told our friends that - they drink it daily as part of their diet.
At present there is a Make Mine Milk Campaign aimed at getting people to drink more milk- particularly low fat milk. It is aimed primarily at teenagers and mums - after all milk is such a good, whole food. But somehow it has gone out of popularity.
Various celebrities are involved in the campaign and there are various prizes to be won etc. If you want to know more about it you can go to Twitter@makemineMilk or to www.youtube.com/makemineMilkuk.
Round here most of our dairy farmers sell their milk to the Wensleydale Creamery for making cheese. It is good to think that real Wensleydale cheese is made from genuine Wensleydale milk, isn't it?
I do urge you to try a glass of cold milk - I so enjoyed it and wondered why I had ever stopped drinking the stuff. Do you remember the previous campaign 'Drinka pinta milka day' -