Life on the Farm
Hi everyone, I’m Sophie and I’m the new member of the SRN team.
I joined the Scottish Government in 2019 starting as an Agricultural Officer within the Rural Payments and Inspections Division and was responsible for carrying out sheep and cattle inspections, capital grant inspections and general enquiries relating to the farming sector and current schemes. My role also involved working with farmers and external stakeholders, building strong relationships where possible.
Previous to working for the Scottish Government I was a qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse for six years and trained in practice for two years before qualifying. I worked with the general public on a daily basis as well as doing patient anaesthetics, blood tests and x-rays, to name but a few.
My role within the SRN involves building relationships with other teams in the Scottish Government and external stakeholders to help communities and the rural sector benefit from what schemes and grants are available. However, additional to my role within Scottish Government my husband Gavin and I are farmers.
I have come up with an idea of writing a monthly blog for our website to give you all an insight of what we have been doing on our farm as well as some background as to why we do what we do.
Both myself and Gavin have jobs out with the farm as well, this is because as the farm stands it would not be able to pay all of the bills on its own. Gavin works as a Dairy sales rep for an agricultural farming supplier, and I work from home.
We live on our farm with our 3 year old son and Jack Russell Midge in south west Scotland, outside a small town called Galston. We own 100 acres of land on our farm, but we also rent in 150 acres. This is for our 130 head of beef cattle and their calves along some sheep which we winter on our ground.
We grow our own silage, so have fields set aside for that during the spring and summer months. This allows the nutritious grass to grow and be cut and stored either in our silage clamp or as bales to feed the cattle when housed during the winter months. To ensure we grow as nutritious grass as possible for them, we have soil and grass samples taken. This tells us what nutrition is there and what/ if any fertiliser is needed. It also tells us when the best time is for us to cut our silage, ensuring we do not miss out on the much needed nutrients.