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"I would rather attempt something great and fail. Than to do nothing at all and succeed"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scotland - Home of Glenn Rath Farms Ltd and the fantastic Campbell Family!

Hi all, this is the last official blog of my first overseas journey.

The Eurostar delivered us to Scotland safely, where once again the cold weather met us. We hired a bus and resembling a sardine can we headed west for Kilmarnock. We had an extremely enjoyable and informative visit with Craig Stevenson who owns and operates a-game processing plant, supplying top restaurants throughout the UK. Braehead foods offers numerous exotic meats e.g. pheasant, duck, pigeon, hare, rabbit etc.

Dave explaining the processing procedures for game meat.
We checked out the Hendrie Bros dairy and beef finishing operation's, and enjoyed a farm visit stay with Hugh and Caroline Black (generational potato grower); after visiting the Albert Bartlett Potato Factory - there was always potatoes on the menu in Scotland as it is a massive potato producer. 

We then called in to Mauchline at William Campbell's farm and discussed pasture production, silage, a small number of beef lot cattle (housed in barns to avoid snow and cold weather) and yes another dairy.

Farm visit with William Campbell.

Silage feedlot at William Campbell farm.

Silage bunker at Campbell low holes house farms.

We then visited the farming enterprise connected to the Glamis Castle and had a quick tour of the ancient building where Queen Elizabeth's mother spent her childhood. After which we settled into the Carnoustie golf Hotel which overlooks the same course the British Open is played on. During dinner we heard from some keynote speakers on European agriculture.

On our last day in Scotland we were treated to a visit with John Campbell of Glenn Rath farms just out of Edinburgh. This very humble and polite man produces 1.4 million eggs a day in his 10 hen houses, much of which is free range.

John Campbells chooks
He jokes about only being a hobby farmer, with his 12,500 acres of cattle, sheep and chooks. He even has a trademark of yellow daffodils planted along the public roads that border one of his five properties. This guy has a gross turnover of $45 million and yet his children and more importantly his grandchildren are very hands-on throughout the three enterprises. His 17-year-old granddaughter gave us a running commentary on the lambing procedures while covered in afterbirth and hard at it in one of their many barn's.
At dinner with John and his Wife
The Campbell family provided us a wine and dine affair at their retirement home not far from Edinburgh. The Glenn Rath farms Ltd was the highlight of my farm visits and I look forward to catching up with the Campbell family again.

And as I close this blog, we head off on a 22 hour flight for Sydney (via Thailand), then onto our home town of Alice Springs.  Just in time to spend Easter with our boys.
A beautiful sunset in Thailand to farewell us, as we set our sights on home soil!

Thankyou all for taking the time to follow my blog, I look forward to catching up with you all to talk and look through pics of our many memories!

What next?  Well onto my next adventure - Tackling the the Tanami Track where I will drive my 4x4 wheelchair the 730 odd kms from Suplejack Downs Station to Alice Springs.  Stay tuned... ...more blogs to follow!

Cheers Rob!

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