Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

University launches dairy scheme

A cow at Leahurst
The dairy farm is the first collaboration between a university and supermarket

A university on Merseyside has teamed up with Tesco to form a new dairy initiative between experts and veterinary students.

Wood Park farm at the University of Liverpool's veterinary campus offers farmers supplying to Tesco advice on cattle health from national experts.

In turn, students at the campus will gain information on the latest dairy technology.

Funded by Tesco, the joint project is the first of its kind in the UK.

The university has also made a 1m investment at the farm to add more study facilities, including a viewing gallery where cows behaviour and reproduction can be monitored.

The farm houses 200 cows, each making 9,500 litres of milk per year.

Dr Rob Smith, head of the livestock health and welfare division at the University of Liverpool said: "We are delighted to be involved in this exciting new venture.

"Some of the best farmers in the UK supply to Tesco, and the opportunity to work with them have already provided insights into milk production that we hope to develop."

John Cameron, Wood Park Farm manager, said: "Wood Park will test new ideas and systems of operation so that we are in a better position to advise other farmers on developments in the industry."

Tesco said they hope their farmers will gain "access to some of the best specialists in the country".

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