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Young Farmer Focus: David Paterson - 'Lambs proved a harder pull than tug of war'

David Paterson, 26, shares his time between the family farm near Biggar and his role as a land agent with Davidson and Robertson, a firm of rural surveyors and consultants.

 

He is a keen member of Biggar YFC and is regularly involved with the club’s tug of war competitions.

Career: It was never a ‘dead cert’ that I wanted to become a land agent – or a farmer. I was always interested in the family farm, but never enough to come home from school to work it.

 

The farm does not merit two full-time staff, so my dad always encouraged me to have my own career too.

 

At Scotland’s Rural College, I studied for a bachelor’s degree in rural business management with agriculture, where my interest in farming and rural matters grew.

 

I saw the Davidson and Robertson (D&R) advert just as I was finishing my third year and started as a land agent after a spell travelling.

 

Work life is now shared between farming and land agency.

 

My D&R days vary, with a workload usually consisting of property appraisals, sales, forestry, estate management and utility claims work for private clients. Knowledge of the local area is priceless.


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YFC tug of war: Being a member of Biggar Young Farmers for 10 years, I have held various roles within the club and Lanarkshire district and it has allowed me to build an invaluable knowledge base, making many friends and contacts throughout Scotland.

 

D&R sponsors the SAYFC national tug of war finals at the Royal Highland Show, which is a fantastic YFC showcase. I am no stranger to this competition, having been #pullingfortheteam with Biggar YFC gents for six out of seven of our consecutive winning years.

 

Tug of war teams require commitment, teamwork and a strong will to win. These are life lessons for everyday life, whether in farming, land agency or another career.

 

My daughter Isla was born just before we won the finals last year. I will certainly encourage her to join YFC when she is older, but she will not see me compete as it is time to retire.

 

Farming: At home, we run a mixed beef and sheep unit with 80 continental cows and 500 breeding ewes we have built up over the past five years. I have also just started my own flock of Texels.

 

What a difference a year makes.

 

This year, lambs were born into sunlight and not an inch of snow. With more grass throughout winter, lambs were also a lot bigger, with large singles proving a harder pull than Carluke Young Farmers in the tug of war final last year.

 

With the good weather, my clients are caught up with spring work and are hopefully looking forward to the Highland. Good luck to all competing.

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