The Farm

Focus on The Farm and all related farming activities.

  • The Farm

    Q&A Young Livestock Ambassador

    I decided to answer some commonly asked questions about the award I won at the Royal Highland Show. I have tried to include some of the details and emotions over the last few weeks. So if you don’t like soppy or emotional posts, this is probs not one for you, enjoy. What is the Young Livestock Ambassador Award? It is a one-off award funded by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), SRUC and RHASS in celebration and recognition of the Year of Young People 2018. The award was presented by Fergus Ewing, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy. What did you win? As well as the recognition of Young Livestock Ambassador, I…

  • The Farm

    When you have “a shit lambing”

    With the longest day already on the horizon it feels like a lifetime ago since I was lambing, and I am glad of it. I usually look forward to lambing and have the same excitement for it as I did as a child at Christmas but without any glimmer of doubt this year has been the worst lambing season I have ever had. I know that sounds terribly dramatic, but it was. I am no optimist; I am a dedicated realist and I knew that the time had come for me to have “a shit lambing”. This post isn’t so much for me to dwell on the lambing I had,…

  • The Farm

    The perks of Lambing

    Like most farmers, these last few weeks have been hectic. Emotions have been as varied and unpredictable as the weather and the only thing that seems to be drying up are my levels of enthusiasm and patience. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this time of year; there are some serious perks and I will talk about these shortly. Bringing life into the world has never lost its magic with me and I still thrive on it. But as inevitable as new life is with livestock, the reality of death is never far away. I’m over half way through lambing my 24 sheep but with that I have lost…

  • The Farm

    In like a Lion

    The end of February brought us fine, drying days and pleasant blue skies, to the point where discussions involving things like “Spring” and “the clocks going forward” were being uttered often and with genuine enthusiasm. But like most things, this delusional state was short lived and we, along with the rest of the country, experienced plummeting thermometers and the increased workload that accompanies it. Earlier in the week an older lady shared the old wives’ tale; “if March comes in like a Lion, it will go out like a Lamb”. Reflecting on this conversation, there was little doubt that March did indeed creep in and shock us in good lion-like…

  • The Farm

    Tiny Tim and the Dark Horse

    Monday met us with dreich drizzle and thick grey skies. Heading out the door I received a brief phone call from a family friend who is helping us run the farm whilst Dad’s off his feet. He simply asked when I would be down as our first calves had arrived. Yes, calves, plural and two of them. Early, by about two weeks. Upon arrival I was greeted by the coo and two calves in the feed passage. Each calf was considerably different to the other; to the point where we looked through the remaining coos on the slats to see if two coos had calved, rather than it being twins.…

  • The Farm

    My farming story

    Having lived and grown up on farms in Orkney for most of my life it’s safe to say that I cannot imagine life without “the farm”. When I was very young we lived on my uncle’s farm and my first word was “coos”. My Dad, from a farming family, spent most of his adult life working on various farms as a farm hand, before later being employed as an agricultural contractor. It wasn’t until the late 90s that my parents got the opportunity to buy their own 25 acre farm on South Ronaldsay from my Dad’s uncle. I cannot remember when we started keeping our own cows, but I struggle…