Robert Gray  -  Adding Value & Marketing the Farms Produce.

Alan and Anne Beckett Award

Having grown up on a beef & sheep farm from an early age I knew farming was a natural career path for myself. I left school at 17 & moved to New Zealand where I worked up the dairy farm ladder in the South Island including working on a 3500 cow unit & managing a sheep milking unit in Invercargill. At 22 I purchased a 176Ha block & signed up to a share milking agreement on another farm in the North Island.

The following summer I returned to Scotland for a holiday & met Rhona. I decided to return to the family farm in the Trossachs National Park at Callander, Scotland & went into partnership with my parents Stuart and Val.

Influenced by my experience in the dairy sector in New Zealand I persuaded my parents to diversify into dairying & in April 2014 we started milking Jersey cows. This is on a seasonal spring calving grass based system on the principle of low cost inputs. We are now up to 400 cows in the herd and want to expand further.

I played rugby myself up to a couple of years ago and now enjoy watching Rugby matches from the side line. I married Rhona in July of this year.

I am very appreciative to Rhona & my parents for supporting my Nuffield Scholarship and to Alan & Anne Beckett for kindly agreeing to sponsor me.