News from the field

Image courtesy of ORganic Rapeseed oil

Rural Britain is a wonderful assortment of farms, estates, hamlets, villages, forests and moors, lochs and valleys. Our stunning scenery, close communities and wonderful rural businesses provide an idyllic lifestyle for many, but rural life can also throw up some pretty unique challenges.

The Rural Scene (the Scene & Herd rural blog and news updates) looks at what’s new, what’s relevant, what’s tasty, what’s fun and what’s challenging about life in the Great British Countryside. We offer an insider insight into rural Britain, highlighting some of the exceptional people, businesses and innovations we believe that everybody should know about.

OnFARM Podcast: Paralympian Sammi Kinghorn and Bruce Aitchison on DoddieAid 2022

Doddie Aid 2022 is in full swing, with folk all across Scotland and beyond walking, running, and cycling en masse, to raise funds to help cure Motor Neuron Disease. Monty chats with Paralympic silver and bronze medallist (and Borders farmer's daughter) Sammi Kinghorn, co-captain of the South Doddie Aid team, and Bruce Aitchison, host of the Happiness is Egg Shaped podcast and the Doddie Aid weekly Wednesday live streams.

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OnFARM podcast two years on

Back in autumn 2019, my Scene & Herd PR & Marketing business partner, Anna, suggested to me that we ought to launch a podcast. I was pretty underwhelmed by the idea if I’m honest. My first reaction was – “WTF is a podcast and why do we want to make one?”! Sorry Anna! Roll on to January 2020 and I found myself volunteering to interview my friend and farming neighbour, Doddie Weir, for my very first episode in the hot seat. Sorry, Doddie!

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OnFARM Podcast: Rising to the challenge of 2022

2022 already looks like being a challenging year for farming. There are huge unanswered questions over support policies and mechanisms, and concerns over big increases in cheap imported food due to Brexit. The UK DEFRA Secretary George Eustice recently said that farmers must do more to “stand up to supermarkets” over prices – but he was short on practical suggestions for how many might do that. Helping to find a path through this difficult terrain is going to be a big focus for OnFARM in 2022, and we start by revisiting a conversation with Galloway dairy farmer Rory Christie. Rory has great advice on giving yourself the best chance in negotiations – not just with supermarkets and other buyers, but with landlords, and even spouses!

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January 2022 News

Brrrr.....January is here! This time, two years ago, in blissful ignorance of what lay ahead, the Scene & Herd team were having a New Year get together at the wonderful Scottish Cafe. Over delicious local, seasonal food, we blethered about our new OnFARM podcast, sustainability and our favourite books, films and (Scottish) words. Some of those words were "coorie", "dreich" and "outwith" - none of them was "Covid", "Delta" or "Omicron".

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Veganuary

Sadly, all too often we read in the press and on social media that eating healthily and saving the planet must involve cutting out meat. This is, as we know, not the case. Unfortunately, when it comes to things like Veganuary, it’s not always easy to articulate the farming side of the debate. You might not agree with every word, but we’ve listed here a few articles and opinions which resonate with us and which provide some useful information and statistics which support Scottish food and farming:

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