It’s a week of new beginnings for everyone involved in the dairy sector. It’s the first time in 31 years that the shackles are off and doing what we are good at – producing milk – can go full speed ahead. We only had a few years of development in the 1970s after joining the EU. Then quotas came in and, for most dairy farmers, that was the end of expansion.

My parents put in a four-unit milking parlour in 1968. It had a loft over it and the ground barley was fed into bins. You only had to pull a lever and each cow got her allotted share. It was a huge step-up from the long shed with its bucket plant.