"I've been with LKL on the same farm for the past 14 years and am happy in my job. This part of Hampshire is also a nice area in which to work. In addition to the dairy, the farm has its own thoroughbred stud and racing stables, which are of interest to me. As I am self employed, I can effectively manage my own time, so long as the work gets done. "When I first arrived we had 260 cows and two full-time staff, and I went on an LKL man management course - something they offer for free as part of their ongoing commitment to their contractors. Now I've got full day-to-day responsibility for the whole herd, yielding an impressive 9,500 litres. I am assisted by one Polish worker and a relief milker when the need arises. It's a real motivation booster to be given such a level of responsibility and ownership. I'm also involved in planning and budgeting with the estate owner and farm manager. "The big plus of working for LKL, in addition to the responsibility and trust, is being assured of good working and living conditions. What's more, LKL acts as a third party to negotiate contract terms and conditions on my behalf".
LKL Herdsman for 14 years
"I looked for a specific job in the north - originally coming from Preston in Lancashire - and it happened to be with LKL. So far though it's been good. Although I'm self-employed, there is no risk to job security as LKL would find me something else if this contract were to suddenly come to an end. What's also really good is that I'm paid regularly, every month without a problem". "LKL has insurance schemes which they help sort out so there isn't too much paperwork for me. They also negotiate wage rises on my behalf with the farm owner. Ian Lindsay, LKL's regional manager in the north, visits the farm on a regular basis to make sure everything is running smoothly". "And having done courses such as AI in the past, I have plenty of options to go on refresher courses. The farm itself has good facilities and new tractors. The 24/24 parlour is kept in tip-top condition and if we have any problems, they are sorted immediately. Working in such good conditions makes a big difference to my daily work routine by reducing the likelihood of any problems. Likewise LKL ensured that our cottage was in excellent condition before we moved in".
LKL herdsman for 5 years
"I've been with LKL for twenty-one years and, although self-employed for 25 years, have more peace of mind about job security. If things go pear-shaped on one farm, or a farmer sells up, I know that LKL will find me another position. I also know they only offer good positions on farms that have been vetted, where conditions and rates of pay are good. "I'm contracted to work 295 days of the year; the other 70 days I take as holiday or time off. I have to cover myself for sickness or accident and can do this privately or through LKL. Similarly I need public liability basic cover which I must do through LKL - this is for antibiotic contamination of milk. "I've never had to resort to mediation, but they would work well as an intermediary between me and my boss if there was a problem. "Give them a go and don't be afraid to be self-employed. It's not a minefield; it's easier now that it used to be".
LKL herd manager since 1988