A Clitheroe mum-of-two, whose family have been dairy farmers for three generations, has become an internet sensation after penning an emotive poem about the milk price row.
Victoria Bristol (29) put pen to paper to appeal to the public to understand how much farming families like hers are suffering.
This row all seems to be about prices, facts and figures and I wanted to something to make it real for the public to understand it all and how this is all about people’s lives and what they have worked hard to achieve for so many yearsVictoria Bristol
After publishing her verse on the Farmers for Action website the post received 600 likes and shares.
And after posting it on Twitter the poem was shared by numerous times and has now gone global and reached New Zealand.
Victoria of Church Brow Gardens said: “This row all seems to be about prices, facts and figures and I wanted to something to make it real for the public to understand it all and how this is all about people’s lives and what they have worked hard to achieve for so many years.”
Victoria, who is mum to Ellie (nine) and five-year-old Luca, grew up on Whittakers Farm in West Bradford which is still run by her dad Andrew and brother William.
But as the dairy crisis deepens and farmers are losing 10p a litre and going out of business at the rate of one a day as they claim supermarkets are squeezing them dry by undercutting them, neither have taken a wage from the business since Christmas.
Victoria said: “It really does seem like make or break time for businesses like ours.
“What I really want to say to the public is if you go to the supermarket look at where the fresh produce is from that you are buying.
“I not asking them to change where they shop but just to support local businesses.
“If this does not happen with dairy farmers you won’t be able to buy fresh milk from the shelves, it will be long life imported from other countries.”
The four big farming unions were meeting this week to address the crisis and union leaders have also called on Government ministers to see what they do to help farmers. Protestors have also caused controversy by marching cows into supermarkets and taking all the milk off shelves as part of the Milk Trolley Challenge. They then handed it out to customers outside the stores asking only for a donation to charity.
Victoria said: “Stunts like these are controversial and it gets them the publicity but my message is a more simple appeal to make people think.”
Waking at six for the milking,
rounding the cows with the pup.
Breathing in the first air of the day,
All before the madness need be up.
Pushing and shoving they’re collected,
Ready to give us their precious white silk.
We clean and we feed them a plenty,
And into the jar goes the milk.
They’re bedded better than the master,
They lie on mattresses of wheat,
They have mats for walking and laying on,
And to be comfy under their feet.
The farmer he loves his black and white beauties,
Often more than the wife,
But sadly the day is a coming,
When they won’t be in his life.
The milk price is at it lowest.
He’s constantly at a loss,
With all the bills that need paying
It’s not a good time to be the boss!
So we ask our British public,
To get behind farmers nationwide.
And help us to promote the British milk and meat,
And get the prices on side!!
Or the farmer will hit snooze on the alarm clock,
The buildings will fall into disrepair,
The cows will be gone for the slaughter
And your shopping will come from who knows where!