We asked our new writers to answer a few quick-fire questions to give you a taster of what they will be talking about before they put pen to paper.
Name and location.
John Scott, Easter Ross, Highlands, Scotland.
What type of farm do you run?
We farm just over 2,226ha in Easter Ross and Sutherland. I farm in partnership with my wife Fiona and parents James and Janet in one business, which trades as J Scott and Partners, and with Fiona in our own business, Scott Farming Co. We have four children; James 13, Izzy, 11, Lexie, nine and Archie, seven.
We have 200 cows, including 65 Beef Shorthorns and 65 Luings and produce Hi-Health, Hi-Performance bulls and breeding heifers.
We have two contract farming operations and anticipate this side of the business will increase.
We grow winter barley, spring barley and oats for malting and use our own turnips for stock feed, and let land for potatoes. We also have small-scale wind turbines and a biomass boiler.
We stock 4,500 ewes and hoggs, which include stud Texels, New Zealand Suffolks, Beltex and Aberfield, producing rams for our on-farm sale.
Describe yourself in four words
Driven, optimistic, temperamental and competitive.
What are your hobbies off the farm?
If you could change one thing about the agricultural industry what would it be and why?
Mindset. As an industry we tend to have a negative outlook – this needs to change.
Tell us about the funniest moment you have had on the farm
There are too many to mention, but lambing is usually a great source – especially April Fool’s Day. This year’s Kiwi farmworker was sent to the farm along the road for round post holes. Our kids are also a constant source of amusement, especially our youngest Archie.
What gadget couldn’t you live without and why?
My wife. OK, she is not a gadget, but I would be lost without her. She is vital. She listens when I need to sound off, offers advice when I seek it, and keeps me sane. She would say it is my mobile I couldn’t do without, but she is wrong.
If you could farm in any other country where would it be and why?
Without a doubt South Island New Zealand. We have lots of friends there and I love their wine, beer, rugby and no-messing approach to sheep farming.
Aspirations for the future?
I love doing what I do. I would like to think that in 20 years’ time I will still feel the same and would be delighted if my children chose to follow in my footsteps.