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Scotland discovers the new farm transport of the future

Because the final day of the dairy farmer of the year judging had taken us to sunny south west Scotland, independent judge, John Allen had organised the judging team an extra day looking at dairy producers in the region. It was an eye-opening day mostly because it introduced me to an area of the country I knew little about. This corner of Scotland is packed full of dairy farms investing in their farms and growing cow numbers by the day - partly helped by SRDP grants and healthy competition between neighbours.

 

It was on one of these visits that I was speaking to Robert Dodds who farms 850 cows in Gatehouse of Fleet, about his grassland management and I spotted something unusual out the corner of my eye... Is that man on a Segway?

 

At first I thought it was one of the farm workers trialling a novel way of getting the cows in, but it turned out there was a far more logical explanation.

 

Duncan from nearby Legganoutdoor had heard we were in the area and decided to give us a demo of what his activity company gets up to. The Segways were just part of a host of activities offered by the company and forms part of an interesting diversification from beef and sheep farming.

 

It's quite an unnerving experience when you first start operating the Segway as you have to lean forward to make it move forward. In fact the whole thing is operated by weight distribution – something which was bit worrying for someone who is not known for balance.

 

However, it turned out it was quite straight forward once you got the hang of it. All three judges had a go at zooming round the concrete outside the 70 point rotary parlour – who knows, last year's dairy farmer of the year, Neil Baker could be introducing them as standard transport for his farm staff within the year...maybe?

Aly Balsom

 

You can read more articles like this one at farmersweekly posterous here: www.farmersweekly.posterous.com 

Originally posted at http://www.farmersweekly.posterous.com/scotland-discovers-the-new-farm-transport-of