Agriculture Finalists 2018

Swanston Farm Ltd

Edinburgh

www.swanston.co.uk

Swanston Farm Ltd is a commercial farm, including the farming of highland cattle and breeding of sheep and the keeping of free range laying hens (for the production of meat and eggs for the Brasserie), a public brasserie, golf courses and practice facilities, foot golf and disc golf courses, rented offices, equestrian livery yard, holiday lets and residential lets. The McClung family were tenant farmers on the land for two generations from the 1930s, until the landowner died in the 1970s. They then purchased the land in its original state as seed potato growing in the merchants business, along with two golf courses, Lothianburn Golf Club at 110 years old and Swanston Golf Club at 90 years old.

 

Scottish Organic Milk Producers Association

West Mains, Ingliston, Newbridge, Midlothian

www.scottishorganicmilk.org

Scottish Organic Milk Producers Association (SOMPA) is a network of 21 Scottish producers, producing 16 million litres of organic milk per annum. SOMPA is a co-operative that has been in existence since 2003 and is funded by levy fees from its members. SOMPA members’ milk can be marketed through various routes. The majority of the membership market their milk through the English cooperative OMSCo (Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative). SOMPA was formed in 2003 with the aim of promoting Scottish organic milk within Scotland. Their longer term ambitions are to increase the production of organic milk in Scotland, identify and secure new markets for Scottish organic milk and continue to improve the sustainability of the organic dairy sector, both through the use of technology, data and innovation, and through upskilling, training and supporting their member farmers.

 

Meadowsweet Organics

Cupar, Fife

www.meadowsweetorganics.co.uk

Meadowsweet Organics began in 2014, when land became available to rent on the Falkland Estate in Fife for new/young farmers for starting an organic horticultural business. It was started by David and Rosy, who met on the Falkland Estate in 2012, and  worked on several organic farms together before starting Meadowsweet Organics. It was born out of their passion for organics and diversity and the idea of starting a business combining vegetables, herbs and flowers based on a market garden model.

 

Ledard Farm Ltd

Kinlochard, Stirling

www.greattimescotland.com

Ledard Farm is an ancient hill sheep farm – first mentioned in 1474 in the minutes of the Privy Council of the Kings of Scotland. They began their diversification programme in 2001 to make the business more cost effective and profitable. They reduced their sheep flock thereby releasing 60 hectares of hill for planting a hard-wood forest of oak trees (25,000), Scots Pine (8,000) and other Scots species. Ledard Farm created an electronic clay pigeon range and converted their 17th Century mill barn and stables into a corporate hospitality facility capable of dining up to 50 visitors, which tells the story of the Jacobite period and Rob Roy. It is also used for ceilldh dances and their annual Celtic music festival, The House Folk Festival. Using their loch fields, Ledard Farm run highland games and water events in collaboration with Go Country, their adjacent water sports centre.

 

John Wight & Sons

Biggar, Lanarkshire

The business was founded in 1927 and was started by a great grandfather of the current generation. John Wight & Sons is a family-run beef and sheep enterprise, comprising of five units, running 5600 ewes and 1000 head of cattle concentrating on top quality breeding for commercial and pedigree production. Midlock (the home farm) is renowned for its Scottish Blackface and rises from 840ft – 1800ft above sea level. With regard to the pedigree sheep side, all the stud Rams are sold as yearlings because they use them as lambs on the flock. They also sell commercial cows and sheep and they are sold through the live auction market and privately. The business also has a pedigree Charolais cattle herd which encompasses selling pedigree Bulls for both pedigree and commercial breeders. The farms are all run by family members and their family, as well as employing five full time staff and other part time helpers as and when required.

 

Harris Farm Meats

Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

www.harrisfarmmeats.scot

Harris Farm Meats is a family business run by Ruth Harris and her children, producing ethically produced goat meat, mutton, and pork. The business was started up two years ago and was started up to bring something different into the market, goat meat. Ruth and her children are always hands on. Ruth runs the business side with her shop and selling produce to local customers, restaurants and cafes across the country, but she enjosy the farm side of it and has a passion for producing high quality meat in an ethical way. Her ambition for their business is for it to grow and still remain a small farm business as well as continuing to supply large chains of restaurants but most importantly to continue to produce ethically produced meat to a highest quality.

 

Charlesfield Farms Ltd.

St. Boswells Melrose, Scottish Borders

www.charlesfieldfarms.co.uk

Charlesfield Farms Ltd. is a family business based in the Scottish Borders. The company was founded in 1966 to run the family farm which has been in the family for four generations. As well as farming, the business has developed a small business incubation hub from the remnants of the World War Two munitions factory which was sited on land requisitioned from the family at the beginning of the war. As a consequence, the firm has developed a diversification strategy cooperating with the local enterprise agency to develop a busy industrial estate, which hosts more than seventy businesses. The ambitions for the business going forward are to utilise the renewable energy and business space created by the anaerobic digestion plant to provide opportunities for the local rural economy. Charlesfield has moved from being a lone farming operation to now creating direct employment for seven full-time equivalent posts and supporting more, through contractors and service providers.

 

CH & AK Walker

Duns, Berwickshire

CH & AK Walker is an organic beef and sheep farming business based at Barnside Farm in the Lammermuir Hills near Duns in the Scottish Borders. It is run by husband and wife team Charley and Andrea Walker. They work with one local self-employed worker, Allan Smith, at peak times, and from their children Tom, 15 and Jessica, 12. They are tenants of W.S.J.Dobie esq. of Abbey Saint Bathans. The 625-acre upland farm is home to 700 wool shedding ewes and 90 Welsh Black cows. These are run on a low input, grass fed, organic farming system that is successfully integrated with their commitment to rural stewardship. The key products of the business are organic prime lambs and breeding sheep along with organic store cattle. The farms dedication to rural stewardship and education also provides significant community and industry benefit.

 

Alan C Watson

Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

Chaplepark was bought in 1953 by Hamish’s dad Alan, at that time the farm extended to 160 acres. A partnership was formed in 1968 and Hamish became a partner in 1983. The family ran a dairy herd at Chaplepark until 1994 when the dairy cows were sold and suckler cows brought in. The suckler cows were then phased out again in 2016. The farmed area now extends to 1100 acres, 800 acres arable, 70 acres of grass let out, a 40-acre lake and 140 to 150 acres of broad leaf woodland and policy plantation. The business employs one full time member of staff and casual labour at harvest time. All the grain produced on the farm is marketed to a local pig farmer and a local cattle farmer. The oilseed rape is marketed to ACT, the local grain merchant. The wood chip produced and dried on the farm is used to supply various farming and non-farming customers in the area. Chaplepark installed the first RHI grain dryer in the UK in 2011. The first footpaths for public access were put in with forestry commission cooperation in 2003. There are now 10 miles of footpaths in and around the farm, linking three different villages together.

 

A & R Muirhead

Menstrie, Clacks

www.grassseed.co.uk

A & R Muirhead are a family farm growing crops on the cold, wet, soils of the Carse of Stirling since the end of the 1800s. The farm produces gluten-free oats, grass and the only commercially available Landrace crop in the UK, Scots Timothy. They also have a grass seed company covering the whole of the UK. There are two family members and a lovely lady, Mo, who helps out with their paperwork. Customers are the industrial Scottish oat market, other farmers and gardeners. They hope to continue making the world a greener place, balancing what grows best in their soils without destroying the natural environment.

 

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