NFUS president ‘to quit dairy farming’

Scottish NFU president Jim McLaren has revealed that he is considering giving up dairying on his 230 acre tenanted farm near Crieff.

Mr McLaren, who runs 130 Holstein Friesians, claims personal commitments to the union rather than the economics of milk production have prompted the review of his business which would bring to an end 70 years of dairying on the farm.

The president explained that milk produced on his farm supplies a retail business he runs in partnership with a neighbour.  

That neighbour’s decision to give up milk production last year meant he had to consider stepping up production to 300-400 head and building a new parlour and housing.

“ That would have required an investment of between £1m and £1.5m,” he said.

“I have no doubt that this would have delivered a profitable business, based on the numbers which we calculated, but to invest that amount of the bank’s money, on a farm from which I am usually absent, simply didn’t make sense.

“My current and future commitment to the NFUS means that I am 100 percent reliant on the excellent paid staff that I currently employ to run the farm and look after my cows,” he added.

“Should I decide to part with the dairy cows it will be a decision arrived at only after a lot of soul searching and emotion.”

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