Four young farmers from Dumfries and Galloway have flown out to Denver in the United States to visit the Denver Cattle Show on a learning journey organised by the Galloway Cattle Society.
The trip is the first in a series of three international learning journeys designed to inspire and upskill farmers’ under 30 who have an interest in the Galloway breed. The project is part of the Galloway Cattle Society’s Defining Galloway Beef project, which is part funded by Dumfries and Galloway’s LEADER programme.
The four farmers, Andrew Hunter Blair from Dalry, Alexander Davidson from Thornhill, Callum Park from Sanquhar and Jim White from Dalry, are being shown around by Montana based Galloway cattle farmer Harley Blegen, who is exhibiting at the Show – which is one of the biggest in the world with more than half a million people visiting over the 16 day event.
The focal point of the trip for the D&G farmers will be the Galloway Cattle Classes taking place today, and the group will fly home to Scotland tomorrow. John Finlay, Chair of the Galloway Cattle Society, said:
“Inspiring the next generation of Galloway farmers is absolutely essential to secure the long term future of our native cattle breed, and it’s particularly nice to be launching this new initiative for the Society right at the start of Scotland’s Year of Young People.
“Seeing how our local breed is adapted to other landscapes and climates, and experiencing first-hand the different approaches, skills and techniques used around the world to show and develop the breed, will help our younger farmers develop their own skillsets and knowledge.”
Andrew Hunter Blair from Dalry said:
“I work as a livestock auctioneer with Craig Wilson Ltd of Ayr and Newton Stewart. I’ve had a long association with the breed going back several generations and have spent all my life growing up working with Galloway cattle. I wanted to go to Denver to see the style of cattle they’re working with and to see how the Galloway fits into their system.”
Alexander Davidson of Thornhill said:
“I work on a farm with large Galloway herd and have a great fondness for showing the breed. At Klondyke farms Galloways are a big part of the breeding for the beef cows. I’m going to Denver to see how the Americans show their cattle and I’m looking forward to seeing how they differ from ours.”