Wilma & David Finlay, The Ethical Dairy — sankalpa supported activity

Wilma & David Finlay

Solway Coast, South West Scotland, UK

After university, David spent ten years as a farming consultant before returning to his family’s dairy farm — Rainton — with the intention of intensifying production. David met Wilma, an IT consultant, in 1992. On their third date they discussed David's business plan for the farm. The rest, as they say, is history.

In 2012, the Finlays' trialed calf-at-foot dairying, a system developed by Fiona Provan where the cows’ welfare is prioritised over human gains. Unlike traditional dairy farming, where calves are removed from their mothers at birth, calf-at-foot dairying works by being in tune with the cows’ natural instincts and herd relationships. The system allows both female and male calves to stay with their mothers until they naturally wean at around nine months old.

After receiving investment from sankalpa towards the transitional costs of moving to a calf-at-foot dairying model, the Finlays now run the first commercial cow with calf dairy in the UK.

Our driver is to push at the boundaries of the accepted norm in search of a more sustainable food production system, with which we are comfortable. 

sankalpa shared our vision and took the risk of providing that critical support for what is now being seen as ground-breaking and very relevant, research and development in dairy welfare.

David Finlay, The Ethical Dairy
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