Our former editor, Ken Fletcher, engaged in an extensive discussion with ITV's 'Border Life' during an interview where he delved into his career in agriculture and the Scottish farming industry.

Having retired as the editor of The Scottish Farmer, Ken Fletcher is an award-winning journalist with an impressive 46-year tenure at the paper. Throughout his career, he travelled globally to observe agricultural practices, covering significant stories such as the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Since childhood, Ken has been involved in farm work, and at the age of 17, he secured a job that kept him closely connected to the land.

Reflecting on his early experiences, Ken remarked, "My first-ever story was about the weather, and some things never change. The weather always seems to be the topic of conversation among farmers. They are never really content with it, either too dry, too wet, or too windy. Some express a preference for a wet spring followed by a dry summer, desiring a bit of rain and then a month of dry weather for the harvest. That might keep them happy."

The Scottish Farmer, in circulation since 1893, is among the world's oldest agricultural publications and is often referred to as the "farmers' bible" in Scotland, reflecting its institutional status.

Ken elaborated, stating, "It is more or less an institution; they call it the farmers' bible in Scotland. I think that goes back to the time when the original owners of the newspaper were actually very Presbyterian in their outlook."

Over the decades, the paper has been dedicated to supporting, informing, and entertaining the agricultural community.

Regarding the paper's history, Ken noted, "The paper has always been printed in Glasgow. Glasgow was an agricultural centre back then. The railway would terminate there, so the livestock from the western highlands and dairy products from Ayrshire would come in by train, making it a significant hub."

He reminisced about the panel of experts who appraised butter from across Scotland, assigning scores and providing written critiques to the producers. This process, while a source of enjoyment, also brought anguish as some young dairy makers had to be informed that their butter was rancid.

Ken explained how, despite technological advancements, certain stories have remained constant over the years, with the weather consistently featuring prominently in every edition of The Scottish Farmer.

You can watch Ken's interview with 'Border Life' here