In April 2023 Josh Dorey, one of the island's youngest farmers, took over the helm as the new owner of La Petite Croute Farm.
This farm comprises over 900 vergees rented from many landowners in several parishes and includes 120 young stock and 200 milkers, complemented by an additional 70 vergees dedicated to cultivating potatoes.
Josh realised a long-held dream of owning his own farm in April 2023 after previously having a five-year tenancy of a farm in St Saviours where he singlehandedly looked after 65 cows and 25 youngstock. By combining the herds from both farms Josh has made La Petite Croute the largest dairy farm in Guernsey.
Farming has deep roots for Josh, spanning generations in both his father and mother's families. Josh's passion for farming was also nurtured after spending hours as a child with his maternal grandfather, Peter Martel, who looked after a small milking herd of Guernseys.
At Reaseheath College, Josh gained a Foundation Degree in Dairy Herd Management. After graduating Josh initially worked on a farm in Cornwall with a spring calving herd. With so many cows calving in a short amount of time, Josh gained valuable practical experience I managing large herds. Not long after returning to Guernsey at just 24 years old, Josh took over the running of a farm in St Saviours.
His Dorey ancestors also had a strong agricultural heritage of farming and growing in King's Mills for more than 300 years including more latterly at Brooklands Farm. Subsequently, Josh's great uncle Hirzel ventured into dairy farming at the nearby La Petite Croute Farm in 1964 where he remained for more than two decades before forming a partnership with Rob Waters.
Rob later bought out Josh's great-uncle and from the 1980s until recently he managed and expanded La Petite Croute Farm into the significant business that it is today. Rob, looking for retirement, expressed his support for Josh's takeover and is pleased to see the farm returning to the Dorey family.
A key member of Josh's team, Mark Simon, has been working at the farm since 1995, has a vast knowledge of the farm's pedigree livestock. Alongside four other staff members, Josh is producing 300 tonnes of potatoes annually for local supermarkets and delivering 3,000 litres of milk to Guernsey Dairy each day.
Josh is also following in Rob's footsteps producing champion cows and winning numerous trophies at the Royal Guernsey Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society's annual show.
This marks an exciting new chapter for La Petite Croute Farm. Josh said "I am passionate about the dairy industry. Being able to do this in Guernsey where we are not only responsible for maintaining the island's milk supply, but also its beautiful countryside is a real honour."