Tuesday, 4 July 2017

We have just got back from our annual Beckett Nuffield trip. It is in a different place every year and this time it was in Scotland, north of Edinburgh. It was as inspirational as ever. After going to the Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace we did various farm visits including a Biomass plant, a huge potato farm and farm shop, a tea grower, who has grown over 40,000 tea bushes and is marketing Scottish tea, and a huge honey packer, who used to be a bee keeper but now makes far more money packing honey from all over the world. Amazingly most of his honey comes all the way from China in huge drums, it is packed in cute little jars and then sent back to China where the Chinese happily pay five times more for it because they believe it is made in the UK or Europe!  The same goes for a lot of Australian honey. It is a crazy world we live in...
The following day we visited a jersey cow herd that is in its infancy and being set up by a young couple (one of which is a Beckett scholar) that have just borrowed a lot of money to start the business. It was great to see what they had done so far and what challenges they face in the future. They are just living in a caravan in a wind blown field at the moment but their confidence in the future of the dairy industry and enthusiasm for the job was great to see and if anyone can make it work, they can.
Scotland was as beautiful as ever and with HS2 looming and the price of land so much cheaper there it could be a possibility. The downside being that there is very little point to pointing and it is an awful long way from all our friends and family....
The Beckett group are a fabulous bunch of people with the sponsors, Alan and Ann Beckett both in their late eighties but still putting us all to shame with their boundless energy and wisdom.
We are looking forward to next years Beckett weekend already!