On Wednesday 15th November 40 members of Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) travelled to Scotland on an Agri Trip planned and facilitated by The Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Over three days members had the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience across a broad spectrum of areas of farming and Agri life.
The first day offered the chance for delegates to tour Watson’s dairy farm, awarded 2018 Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year, operating 5 Lely robots, milking over 300 cows. The visit allowed YFCU members and to gain an insight to the farms’ outputs and systems, and view Lely robots in action and cow housing, followed by the opportunity to see their calves and following stock. Members were supported to understand the level of effort, knowledge, and dedication that it took to be one of Scotland's top dairy farms and the daily impact automatic milkers have on day-to-day farming life.
On the second day members visited the Agri ScotShow in the Highland Center Showgrounds, regarded as one of the premier events in UK agriculture. There was something for everyone. The show boasted the country’s largest winter display of machinery, where members were able to view the latest developments in farm hardware and technology. The show was relevant to members in every sector, with 240 agriculture businesses present, exhibiting a wide variety of products, services and advice covering every aspect of agriculture.
On the final day YFCU members were welcomed by Steve Mitchell to ‘The Buffalo Farm’ in Kirkaldy, where they were given a detailed tour of his processing facilities followed by a viewing of the dairy buffalo and their calves. The Buffalo Farm is multi-award-winning butchery and home to over 500 water Buffalo, making it the largest herd in Scotland. In recent years, the farm has expanded into dairy production milking takes place twice a day, and within hours the buffalo milk is transformed into award-winning mozzarella & ice cream which members had the pleasure of sampling.
Phillip Donaldson, Donaghadee YFC Member and Chair of AREA Committee commented, “It was great after a 2 year break to have the opportunity for members to be able to travel to Scotland to spend a few days at some of the premier Scottish farms and attend the Agri-Scot showcase event!”