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New initiative to fill skills shortage in dairy sector

A new project to help fill a skills shortage in the dairy industry is being launched in Dumfries and Galloway.

Farm owners and school leavers are being encouraged to take part in the scheme and help develop the next generation of farmers.

Young people will be paid for the work they do and it's hoped they'll develop a life long passion for the industry.

Lori Carnochan has been to a farm to find out more.

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'Dairy Skills Initiative' to help young people

The project will help young people learn more about dairy farming Credit: PA

A new project to help address skills shortages in the dairy sector in Dumfries and Galloway has been launched.

Young people just leaving school with no previous farm experience will be offered 12 week placements on a local farm under the 'Dairy Skills Initiative' set up by Scotland's Rural College and NFU Scotland.

Trainees will get involved in the wide range of practical work involved in running a busy dairy farm.

New milking parlour to provide a great resource for college students

Lord Curry of Kirkharle, the Bishop of Carlisle, representatives from the farming industry and college dignitaries were among four hundred guests welcomed to Newton Rigg's Penrith campus to celebrate the new Dairy Unit's official opening.

Newton Rigg's restocked Dairy Herd was wiped out in 2001 Credit: ITV News

The herd was wiped out in 2001 and has since been built back up to 151 cows and heifers. The new dairy unit will enable Newton Rigg students to learn the dairy trade in a state of the art facility.

New Parlour Credit: ITV News

Full Report: Boost for dairy industry

There has been good news for some of our region's dairy farmers this week, as the industry has received a economic boost.

The industry has long campaigned for better prices for its milk production and starting this month, a cheese production company will pay farmers an additional 1p per litre.

Two more companies, including one with a base in Cumbria, will follow suit next month - a move welcomed by local farmers.

Watch the full report from Fiona Marley Paterson below.

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