– In 1901, the East of Scotland College of Agriculture was up and running.

– And then, in 1904, it was the turn of the North of Scotland College to reach launch status, though The SF encouraged full use of the existing facilities and machinery owned by Aberdeen University.

– 1906 was a special year for the sheepdog world. It was then the first ever international sheep dog trials which were held at Gullane, in East Lothian, where J Hamilton, Woolfords, Lanark, and J Jeffrey, Deuchray, Haddington, acted as judges. Winner was R Sandilands, Dundas Castle, with Don, a son of old Kep!

– At the end of 1907, we reported on the death of the 'foremost cattle breeder in the world', Sir George MacPherson Grant, of Ballindalloch. He died as he would have wanted, after winning the Angus champion at the Scottish National Fatstock Club Show in Edinburgh. The Erica family which he made famous at Ballindalloch is still a notable force today in the breed.

– In 1911, the famous court case regarding ownership of the famous Clydesdale stallion, Baron of Buchlyvie, was reported – it started in the January and finished in December. The protagonists were joint owners of the horse who disputed full ownership, James Kilpatrick, Craigie Mains, Kilmarnock, and William Dunlop, Dunure Mains, Dunure. By the end of a long and bitter court feud, the judge was scathing of both parties and he ruled that any joint ownership of the horse had never come to an end. That was resolved on December 16 when James Craig, of James Craig auctioneers, in Ayr, sold the horse in front of an audience of 5000, after a bidding duel between the two, to Mr Dunlop, for a record £9500 – more than three times the previous record of £3000 paid for Prince of Albion. The horse's father, Baron's Pride died the next year in his 23rd year and was largely held as the 'soundest Clydesdale stallion ever foaled.'

– The zenith of the early years came in 1912 when three things occurred that would shape and drive the industry throughout the next 100 year at least. They were the formation of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, which was a 'devolved' issue of the day, removing some of the agricultural powers of the day from London to Scotland; the advent of the Land Court to settle disputes primarily between landlord and tenant (which appears to be going on today!) and the National Insurance Act, which would act as a forerunner for the state pension scheme.

– It was said at the time, in 1912, that this was an important milestone in the lives of those who gave their all for farming, but it was only a portent of what was to come and prior to that phrase would be commonplace in the 1914-1918 Great War, as it became.

– War is always a catalyst for change in agriculture and this one changed the agricultural agenda beyond all recognition. While it was prior to agricultural commodities becoming a world trading phenomena in the modern sense – and thus did not do, as WW2 did, lead to 'ploughing your way to victory' – it did create two hugely influential shortages on the industry of horses and men.

– But 1914 also marked the end of the dispute over the Turra Coo, which had been poinded the previous year with regard to her owner, Robert Paterson's failure to pay the new National Insurance premium. 'The general affray' caused the previous year was not proven, as were several breaches of the peace.

– A demonstration of powered ploughs took place on the Borders farm of WR Murray, Bettyfield. One, the £160 Wyles motor outfit, which operated a two-furrow plough, was deemed to cost 3s to 3s 6d per acre against the 2s 6d per acre for the £800 four-furrow McLaren's steam plough.

– The SF's celebrated lady columnist, Gretchen – otherwise known as Margaret Shanks, of Egremont (but with strong ties to Kilmaurs) was in the news herself as one of the main supporters of the setting up of the Woman's Rural Institute. The other main driving force behind it was Mrs Catherine Blair, Hoprig Mains, Macmerry, when it was finally set up in 1917.

– As well as the end of the war, 1918 was notable for the death of The SF's most ardent supporter, Sir Charles Howatson, the Laird of Glenbuck – the most celebrated breeder of Blackface sheep of the times. He was the first person to pay £100 for a ram – the Low Plewland ram, Reformer – and latterly paid a record £250 for St Columba, from HDM Barton, of The Bush, Antrim.