Young Farmer Focus: Laura McCulloch, Mull of Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway

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Laura McCulloch, 19, is studying journalism at Edinburgh Napier University alongside helping her parents run a 109-hectare (270-acre) beef and arable coastal farm at the Mull of Galloway. She is also a keen member of Stranraer and Rhins YFC.


Growing up: Since a young age watching and working alongside my dad, I always knew agriculture was an industry I wanted to get stuck into. I was never really sure how I wanted to get involved though because the idea of moving to university had never been ruled out.


So, I decided to combine the two together. Having recently completed my first year of BA (Hons) journalism at Edinburgh Napier University, I am now one step closer to pursuing a career which explores different aspects of the industry while being able to get out and about from underneath a working desk. I was never aware moving to a city would make me appreciate my roots quite as much as I do now.


Focus: After my April exams, the books were quickly swapped for a plough, where me and my dad William have been working together to get in our split 101 hectares (250 acres) of spring oats, barley and wheat.


Our second focus at Cardrain Farm is our intensive beef unit, which is currently sitting at 180 dairy cross beef calves, where we locally source six-week-old calves each month, before finishing them off at 14 months and selling them to ABP Perth.


The main aim as a family business is to continue expanding our beef unit with my more personal aim to keep Cardrain Farm and agriculture the main focus of my university studies. For example, I recently set up a blog (commongroundonlineblog. wordpress.com) to mix both my passion for writing and my love for farming.


YFC: As a 19-year-old it is definitely important to keep a healthy balance of work and play. For me personally, this is where Stranraer and Rhins Young Farmer’s Club comes in.


National chairman of SAYFC Suzie Dunn recently said in her new campaign that she believes Young Farmers is the best youth organisation Scotland has to offer and I could not agree more. Being a young farmer brightens up almost every weekend and this one ahead is no different.


Shows: This week has been a particularly busy one. Preparation for the West Young Farmer’s junior and senior handicraft competitions at Ayr Agricultural Show is also underway, with sewing, painting and baking all being thrown into the mix of the usual routine this week.


With the Dumfries and Galloway rally coming up, charity events being organised and stockjudging taking place, Ayr Show is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a busy summer syllabus for Stranraer and Rhins Young Farmers.

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