Breeder of the future: Lois Scott
Last year we put a lot of emphasis on working with our young people and enthusiasts who will be the ones to drive the breed and industry forward in the future, and this is a notion that we’ll very much be carrying in to 2018. We aim to bring regular interview-type news pieces with those talented and passionate youngsters, and the first of 2018 is 19-year-old Lois Scott who lives on a farm near Glamis. We spoke with Lois this week to learn more about her background and plans for the future:
How long have you been involved in farming?
I’ve been involved in the world of farming since a really young age through my family, but I’d say it’s only been since I turned 14 that I’ve started to take a proper interest in it.
Could you tell us about your farming/breeding involvement? Is it with family? What is the scale of yours/your family’s operation and what does it involve?
I help on my family farm, where the operation is a mixture of arable and beef cattle. We run a suckler herd of about 140 cows and 20 pedigrees, and just recently in the past five years we’ve got involved with pedigree stock, purchasing Charolais and Aberdeen-Angus cattle. My main jobs around the farm include feeding the bulls and show stock as well as helping shift the cattle, and any jobs that I can help with if and when the vet is needed. I’m still a beginner in the world of farming and breeding, so still have some way to go to be trusted with the machinery on top of the current ‘basic’ jobs as my brother calls them!
Could you tell us about your studies?
I’m currently studying towards becoming a primary school teacher at the University of Aberdeen, but I’ve recently been considering if that career path is the right one for me. The possibility of changing over to do an agricultural degree instead is something I’m looking into and considering.
Do you have experience of cattle breeding? If so, could you tell us about it?
Due to my family being new to the whole pedigree breeding spectrum, initially I didn’t have much experience in knowing what bulls to go for or how to read and understand figures. However, my brother had started his own Charolais herd and I learned quite a lot about breeding from that. I also had a lot of support from Neil Caul who recommended breed lines and up and coming bulls which there wasn’t many calves from. He also helped me select my first cow and calf and gave me advice on how to rear these.
What is your experience specifically with the Aberdeen-Angus breed?
I really had no experience with the Aberdeen-Angus breed until I attended one of the youth development workshops. It was here I grew to love the breed and their nature. I attended a lot of visits with our local Aberdeen-Angus club and learned more about the breed. It took some convincing to get my dad on board but after a PowerPoint presentation and a lot of pleading he eventually agreed to help me purchase my first Angus cow!
Do you do anything else in terms of work alongside helping out at home?
Currently I’m just helping out at home. Although when Glamis Castle re-opens for the 2018 season I plan to go back and waitress in the restaurant. I also sometimes do events such as dinner parties and shoots when asked. It’s a very fast paced job as we get about four or five coaches of people in at any one time!
What are your ambitions for the future?
In the future I would like to build up both my Aberdeen-Angus and Charolais herds, with the end goal being to one day have something that is good enough to sell on.
If you could invite any 3 people in the world to a dinner party, who would it be and why?
This is quite a tricky question, but I would probably invite Lord Sugar, it is quite random, but I absolutely love watching the Apprentice and learning about different business plans. He would also be someone that you could ask for advice on any business in general. Another would probably be Michelle Obama, I find the work she does incredible and she is a very inspirational woman. The third person I would probably invite to a dinner party would be Hugh Watson, when looking into the past of the breed it was interesting to read that Hugh started his herd on a farm not too far away from mine. So, I feel It would be interesting to ask him on his initial thoughts and motivations to help him prefect his own herd and why he chose this particular breed and our local area.
If you won £1 million, what would be the first thing you’d buy?
The first thing I would probably buy is more cows for my herds!
What is one interesting fact about you?
I have a massive phobia of birds!
We’d like to thank Lois for taking the time to talk to us and give us some great insight into her and her background. We wish Lois all the best with her current studies and future endeavours, and hope to have her as an Aberdeen-Angus member for many years to come in the future!