DALMALLY Show often is a rich hunting ground for The Raider and this year was no exception.

As it used to be the ‘International’ Highland cattle show back in the day when the late Calum ‘Auch’ MacDonald was the chief wide-running sheepdug sent out to round up the Highlanders, it’s no surprise that the horny cattle breeders continue to catch The Raider’s eye at this event.

As usual, the McKechnies – Jim and Catherine, from France Farm, Gartocharn – were sharing the driving (ie, Jim drives to the event, and Catherine the homeward leg), plus Lanarkshire’s Alan Prentice, were having an away day at the show.

After causing some mayhem trying on various ladies’ hats in the Green Welly Shop, at Tyndrum, on the way there, Jim the driver then persuaded the man on the gate that he was a carer for the ‘two old codgers’ as passengers to effect free entry to the show.

It would appear that money saved at the gate was well spent on a rare dry Dalmally day in a wet beer tent!

Fifty-up for the Scotts

Quite an achievement was celebrated recently when John Scott Meats – the Paisley-based abattoir operator and meat wholesaler – celebrated 50 years in business with a ‘birthday party’, which, as one speaker put it, was quite an achievement in the cut-throat meat trade!

But where this business differs is that it still runs a thriving family farming unit at Thirsdpart, near Skelmorlie, which is aimed at producing livestock for the deadstock business. It was illuminating for both the meat trade visitors and the farmers to hear what goes on in to both sides of the business – and one which is not often appreciated by those from what can sometimes be a great divide.

So well done to the Scott family business – run by Jamie and his sister, Hazel – for reaching not only a milestone for the business, but also maintaining a business ethic begun by their late father, John.

In a bind

ONE OF our older readers, Andrew Gardiner (74), from Lonsdale, Stonehouse, in Lanarkshire, has written asking if anyone is interested in two binders that he has.

One is a McCormick 5ft cut from 1920, that was used behind horses before he got it and ‘still works’ and the other is a 1949 power-driven 6ft cut McCormick. Both need a bit of TLC he told us. He can be contacted at 01698 791039.

Doug weighs in with a talk

WE MIGHT need this talk! A New Zealand farmer, Doug Avery – well-versed in adversity – is coming to Scotland to give a series of talks centred around his book, ‘The Resilient Farmer’.

It will be worth hearing his experiences of the difficulties of farming in adverse conditions – he has a 5900ha enterprise in South Marlborough, where drought and earthquakes combined to trigger not only a financial crisis for him, but a mental meltdown too.

Now a lauded campaigner for farming and mental health issues in his home country, he will be in Scotland courtesy of the RHASS and farming charity RSABI, giving his first talk of a series of 14, between September 13 and October 4, in Ednam House Kelso, on the night before the Kelso Ram Sales.

The talks will last about two hours, are free to go to and are well worth the trip to hear this inspirational farmer and more information on the tour, which covers most of Scotland, can be found on www.dougaveryscotland.co.uk

Bid up for DODDIE’5

THERE will be no mistaking a ram being sold at next week’s Kelso Ram Sales in aid of charity – it will have DODDIE’5 emblazoned across its side, as well as the regular number on its back.

Cambridgeshire’s Ray Woolway is a regular at Kelso and a big rugby fan so he decided to support Doddie Weir's charity drive for motor neurone disease research by donating a ram to be sold for the fund. The ram, an unusual Blue Texel cross Suffolk, will be sold at the Kelso on Friday, September 14, in Ring 3, Pen 24, lot number 1732.

He has a small Suffolk flock, Woolways, and has bought several of the rams for this flock at Kelso over the past decade. A couple of years ago he brought a Blue Texel and put some Suffolk ewes to it and so the ram is one of a number of crosses he’s bringing to Kelso this year.

Bid freely, it’s for a good cause.