Dairy farming produces some of the most dedicated livestock producers and Jim Telfer, High Branchal, Bridge of Weir, who died recently ,was in that category devoting all his working life to his herd and to British Friesian cattle.

When once asked what his outside interests were, he had replied that he did not have any. 'My cows are my hobby.'

As proof of his commitment to his milk cows, one of the first jobs he had on the family farm when he left school aged 14 was in the milking byre and he was still milking cows after he had reached his 70th birthday.

But it was not just Jim’s length of time milking cows that stood out. He was a well respected breeder selling pedigree British Friesian bulls and heifers at Paisley Livestock market which was, in its day, the Scottish centre for trading dairy cattle.

He was also a keen exhibitor of his dairy cows, once taking the female championship at the Royal Highland Show and on other occasions seeing his cattle beating some strong competition at his local Kilmacolm Show. Some of the High Branchal cattle could trace their history to the early years of last century.

Jim was also a well respected judge with stints placing dairy cattle at many shows around the country including once at the prestigious Balmoral Show in Northern Ireland.

With all this commitment to the breed, it was entirely fitting when he was elected in 1982 as chairman of the Scottish Friesian Breeders’ Club; a role he undertook with enthusiasm and one where he was rewarded with many lifelong friendships made on his journeys throughout Scotland.

Travelling later in life was very much the opposite of his early life where he was schooled locally in Kilmacolm and because it was wartime, he, like his school mates – many of them the children of neighbouring farmers, walked the miles to and from school.

As soon as he was old enough to do so, he left school and thereafter he worked at High Branchal which in those days grew a range of crops as well as a dairy with 60 to 70 cows.

In due course, he joined West Renfrew Young Farmers club where he took part in a range of competitions; none more so than in stock judging where his ability to identify the good from the not so good was later to hold him in good stead in his own farming.

His time in Young Farmers also produced another long term benefit for Jim as it was at a Young Farmers dance that he met Elizabeth (Liz) Dykes, from Nether Enoch.

They were married in Eaglesham Parish church in July, 1954, and their long and happy marriage produced three sons, Colin, James and Iain and in due course, three daughters in law, Isobel, Maureen and Alison and eight grandchildren.

Jim was quite an innovator as he was one of the first farmers in Scotland to install a herringbone milking parlour and cubicles. This made his life so much easier.

He also converted High Branchal into a specialist dairy farm dropping the other livestock and cropping enterprises while upping cow numbers to over 200 head which in the 1970s made it quite a big dairy unit.

He continued to have an enquiring mind, well into his nineties and became a ‘silver surfer’ as those grey haired oldies are called.

While Jim and Liz did not travel far from Scotland during the period they were building up the farm, after their family took over the reins, they enjoyed visiting friends and relations all over the world. This travelling and being away from home being in complete contrast to his heading home halfway through his honeymoon in North Berwick as he was 'missing his cattle.'