Farmstrong rural wellbeing tour kicks off in Scotland

Farmers and crofters across Scotland are set to have the chance to hear from a New Zealand dairy farmer and mental health campaigner at a new series of roadshows that aim to build on the success of an existing campaign down under.

Marc Gaiscoigne, who is visiting the UK for a 12-date Farmstrong Scotland tour that started yesterday (30 January) at the Royal Highland Centre, says taking time off the farm is as important as putting fertiliser on crops or detergent through a milking parlour.

Inspired by the popular 2018 tour of Doug Avery, another New Zealand farmer who won plaudits for speaking with honesty about his mental health challenges, the initiative aims to get people in rural communities talking about their mental resilience and make protecting it a priority.

See also: 8 tips from Doug Avery on being a resilient farmer

The speaking tour is just the beginning of a prolonged campaign planned for the Scottish agricultural sector by the newly established Farmstrong Scotland team, which will aim to help people find ways to improve their mindset, stay farm fit – by eating and sleeping well – and stay connected with others.

Farmstrong New Zealand has seen considerable uptake in the farming community after running for several years, helped by the support of rugby union star Sam Whitelock.

Tour dates are as follows and registration is via Eventbrite.

Farmstrong tour dates




30 January


Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston

31 January


Border Union Showground, Kelso

2 February


GG’s Yard, Laggan

3 February


Western House Hotel, Ayr

6 February


Dewars Centre, Perth

7 February


Thainstone Specialist Auctions, Inverurie

9 February


NFU Scotland Conference, Glasgow

11 February


Rugby Club, Orkney

13 February


Pentland Hotel, Thurso

14 February


Dingwall Mart, Humberston

15 February


Rockfield Centre, Oban

16 February


The Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling