The Scottish Holstein Club held its’ annual Calf show last weekend and what a show it was!

The quality of both the stock and the youngsters involved was a pleasure to watch and be part of. Neil Sloan, who works at Watson’s of the Muir, rose to the top against extremely tough competition with Ve-Tech Atwood Frolie. This 14-month-old heifer was bought in partnership with Ewan Corbett, at the Perfection Collection Sale, in April.

The very able judge, Steve McLoughlin, from Southern Ireland, said she caught his eye as soon as she came into the ring. Many judges will tell you their first look is their best look. Reserve spot went to Parkend LA Striptease, owned by Andrew Struthers and Salvie Esquirdo.

The handling classes were equally well contested, with Alison Hunter from Shotts taking the overall title and Zoe Bryson reserve. Taking nothing away from any of the handlers, I would like to give a particular mention to young Ellis Caldwell, from Ladyyard, as her dedication, hard work and determination paid off as she walked away with the junior handler title.

If that’s what the next generation is made of, we’re in safe hands. Next stop for the Scottish team is the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show, in Peterborough, later this month – go get ‘em guys!

I’ve already had a rant about this, but I’m going to have another one! Farming leaders who condemned BBC Scotland’s 'Dark side of dairy' footage as 'sensationalised and inaccurate', have helped force the corporation to amend its story.

Unfortunately, the general public don’t differentiate between Scottish calves or English ones or, as the film portrayed, Hungarian ones. As far as they were concerned, they were all calves and being exported. We know there was no welfare issue, but the BBC succeeded in convincing its audience that there was.

Anyone with any knowledge of ear tags could tell the calves being purported were actually English. The programme also made it look like every dairy farmer ships or shoots their bull calves, or as they called them, a waste product.

Had the reporter researched dairying properly, she would have found out that in fact only a small percentage of bull calves go for export. Any that are exported are done so to the highest of welfare standards and regulations. There was no mention of finishing dairy bred stock or the increasing impact of sexed semen.

The corporation didn’t even have the balls to film it overtly and it was narrated in such a way that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was someone like Donald McIntyre following a drugs cartel! The BBC is funded by us and we deserve unbiased reporting, yet time and again they show their true animosity to agriculture by wilfully misleading the general public on such an emotive subject.

To say the report distorted the reality of the situation is an understatement. As if our life isn’t hard enough.

Another emotive subject is, of course, the price we are being paid for our milk and in many cases the hoops we need to jump through to satisfy our supermarket milk buyers. Many producers will have been attending group meetings to discuss potential price rises and new criteria which has to be met.

My understanding is that at one such meeting there was a near riot as Tesco producers were told of changes to calf rearing rules. The supermarket giant stood accused of bowing to pressure and allowing animal rights activists to dictate how calves are reared, rather than science.

Apparently, we shouldn’t be allowed to rear calves in individual pens as it’s nothing more than battery farming. No, battery farming is where large numbers of animals, usually chickens, are kept in very small cages or crowded conditions. A calf in a single pen does not equal battery farming.

Activists – or as I prefer to call them, interfering do-gooders' – claim calves need to be reared in pairs or more, so they can interact and ... wait for it ... socialise.

Our calves are reared initially in single pens and I know it helps avoid spreading disease, in particular pneumonia and it allows you to spot any potential problem quickly. You can also measure colostrum intake more accurately and, in turn, their appetite.

Like us, no two calves are the same, so should would be mothers be looking out? Activists will soon be proclaiming that we all have twins so that new babies have company and another small person to interact with.

What if you only have one dog or one cat? Have you ever heard such absolute nonsense? Common sense has quite simply gone out the window and Tesco are bowing to people who quite simply have nothing else to do but dream up this tosh!

I have been listening with interest and some trepidation about what’s happening with Brexit and Mrs May’s so-called Chequers plan. In my mind, love it or hate it, oppose it or back it, the majority of the UK voted in favour of Brexit and we just have to get on with it! Arguably, there cannot be a more important time for farmers, so we need to make the best of it and ensure we have a productive and sustainable future. It’s 43 years since we joined the Common Market and now we are preparing to leave the world’s biggest trading bloc.

I think we need to embrace the transition. The NFUs and other farming organisations must work with parliamentarians on what’s best for Scottish agriculture to ensure we have a sustainable future.

Cash support is to continue until 2022, but no-one has told us what will happen after that. One thing is for sure, cutting all support to the industry would be catastrophic.

The Agriculture Bill will receive its second reading in Parliament next week. We may not know what the future holds, but one thing is certain – things are going to change. It’s how we react to that change that will define us.

On a happier note, congratulations to the Colquhoun family which won this year’s Royal Northern Agricultural Society good farming practice award. The award, which is sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council, celebrates a farmer in the region who is showing good practice in their farming business.

The Colquhoun’s milk 750 cows at Dendoldrum, Inverbervie, and the judge, Alister Laing, praised the high standards at Dendoldrum and the family’s attention to detail. The Scottish Holstein Club held its open day there last year and I don’t think anyone could argue with that. Well done Gregor, Faye, Blair and Judy.