Born and bred in the most northerly point of the British Isles I work on the family farm and have my own butchery business. Our family enterprise consists of 75 native cattle and around 600 native sheep, all run organically. Before coming home to farm full time, I studied for two years at Scotland’s Rural College - Barony, just outside Dumfries.
I rent space at our local Shetland abattoir to carry out my butchery and sell beef and lamb from our farm to a local shop. In time I hope to set up the butchery at home. In 2017 I was lucky enough to win Agricultural Learner of the Year with Lantra Scotland which has allowed me to get more recognition in the wider community out with Shetland. This has helped build my confidence greatly.
When I do get a bit of spare time I am a keen player for the Scallow Senior Football team. Unfortunately, there is no young farmers organisation in Shetland, so I have not been lucky enough to be able to join a club and hope in time the SAYFC can get a club setup on the island.
Shetland is a spacious and beautiful part of the world with many old traditions still at the forefront of the community. I think this plays a big part in the relationship between the younger and older generations on the island, which I feel is very strong. I wouldn’t really change anything or want to see many changes to the way of life here in the future. Surprisingly we have excellent WiFi and internet connection, which I know can be a huge problem in other areas of the country, which are less rural than our location.
The main downside would be the distance from the mainland. We endure a seven-hour boat journey on the North Sea to get to our closest city Aberdeen. Alternatively, we could take a one-hour plane journey to the same location or further south, however this can be quite costly and is very dependent on the very unreliable Scottish weather.