Scottish Royal Highlands

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.

 

Highland cattle were second in the native breeds show.

Highland cattle were second to the Angus cattle in the native breeds show .

 

Native breeds cattle show.

Native breeds cattle show.

 

Farrier contest.  They were timed making large Clydesdale horse shoes.  They had to make 2 shoes from a piece of 1 " x  2" flat bar in 30 minutes. and were judged on quality.  Truly an art

Farrier contest. They were timed making large Clydesdale horse shoes. They had to make two shoes from a piece of 1 “x 2” flat bar in 30 minutes. They were then judged on quality. Truly an art.

 

Sheep Dip!

Sheep Dip!

 

 

Horses, cattle (both dairy and beef), sheep and goats, but no pigs?

Horses, cattle (both dairy and beef), sheep, and goats, but no pigs?

 

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A 40 feet wide combine on display.  . We learned that Scottish farmers are often in a “ring” where they  join together to hire and train  labor, buy equipment and supplies to share.  The “ring” matches a shortage of machinery and labor capacity on some farms with a surplus on other farms.

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