Farmers are being encouraged to be more like airline pilots in their approach to farm safety and that’s not a bad way for them to approach things.

However, expediency is sometimes the name of the game and you have to be pretty quick off the mark and by necessity scrub the need for a full-line ‘risk assessment’ when a herd of coos or a flock of sheep are thundering at you!

That said, having witnessed the odd hen or stag party in an airport, maybe a stampede of the bovine kind ain’t that difficult to control!

One for the ladies ...

The Royal Northern Agricultural Society’s cereals section winner, Fraser Middleton, Balbegno, Fettercairn, appears to have let success and/or the demon drink get to him on more ways than one at the recent awards ceremony in a top-notch hotel in Dyce.

Mr Fraser, who has won the award on several occasions in recent years, appeared to have lost his way in the plush establishment, but was also witnessed ‘powdering his nose’ in the ladies’ rest room.

Apparently, Fraser knew fine well he was in the ladies’ and decided to make full use of the facilities, including the hairspray and perfumed hand lotion!

There ain’t nothing like a dame ...

IT’S that time of year when the pantomime dames start to appear and it was interesting to hear that one of the stars from the Farmers’ Choirs, Kelvin Frew and D and G MSP, Finlay Carson, share a passion for running about in ridiculous dresses, wearing huge wigs and chattering in very high voices.

Apparently the two have been keen on amateur dramatics for many years and just love the smell of the audience and the roar of the grease-paint – or should that be the other way around?

Even more astounding is that current NFUS president, Andrew McCornick, was also a keen assistant though he revealed that his forte was organising things behind the scenes! So, some things never change then?

Sangs in the Doric

ONE new fan for the Farmers’ Choir emerged last week too, when they gave a performance in the Scottish parliament. Former farmer, Peter Chapman MSP, was blown away with the choir’s ability after hearing them for the first time after their performance as part of a promotion of rural health and wellbeing.

There at the behest of South Scotland MSP, Emma Harper – showing that there is true cross-party support for important topics like this (even with a General Election stirring the political pot) – Peter went as far as admitting that he’d like to have been up there singing with them.

That should come as no surprise, though, as he’s rightly well-known for his own singing ability and has produced a CD of ‘Poems and sangs in the Doric’, which he recorded for charitable purposes for Crimond Medical and Community Hub.

It’s really rather good too and some of the songs have a particular political relevance: ‘It’s lonely in the bothy’ (written by our old pal Charlie Allan); ‘Beatin’ the budget’ (by Ian Middleton); and ‘O’ Lord look doon on Buchan!’

PS: The Farmers’ Choir will be taking part in one of its biggest projects yet to raise funds for Maggies, a charity which runs many cancer support programmes.

Put February 23 in your diary and have a night out in Glasgow. The concert, ‘A song for Maggies’ is in the Royal Concert Hall.