The Scottish Royal Highlands Show (http://royalhighlandshow.org/) is Scotland’s largest agriculture show, hosting almost 200,000 visitors over the four day event. Their aim is to “promote and raise awareness of farming and rural matters to the public”. It is similar to the California State Fair and the Tulare Farm Show going on at the same time, at the same location. It is a truly educational experience.
We have also noticed a different attitude towards agriculture in the UK. The grocery stores have pictures and displays of production agriculture, tractors, and livestock in the field, placed throughout the store. It’s almost as if the stores in the U.S. try and hide the fact that the food on the shelves comes from the farm. In one Scotland store, their meat aisle was decorated with large pictures of cattle in a pasture. I am not sure how this would go over in the US.
We spoke with several gentlemen from the Scotland Rural College (SRUC)(http://www.sruc.ac.uk/) and they were as interested in U.S. agriculture as we are of theirs. We talked for over an hour on agriculture issues and practices, and found that we have a lot in common. Many of our issues are similar to theirs. Land usage, environmental concerns and regulation,s and water were all similar topics of discussion, though their water issues were problems with drainage, and too much water. We set up tours at two of their campuses next week,and are looking forward to it.