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James Rankin

TAKE THE DAIRY PROMISE MEET MORE FARMERS

My name is James Rankin and I'm a 4th generation farmer at my farm in Cumbernauld in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

I farm in partnership with my brother

In fact, all the family helps out. My son and daughter both have careers in dairy farming and have been involved at home since a young age. The farm is actually built on the site of a 15th century castle and many of the original buildings were built using stone from this.

I've been farming for 43 years

I manage a mixed herd of 160 Ayrshire and Jersey cows. My favourite cow is Kirsty – she's a Jersey crossed with an Ayrshire, so she has the best attributes of both breeds.

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We have a small flock of sheep too

But we focus mostly on the dairy. We like to have the cows outside for as long as possible during the summer then house them during the winter. We recently installed a cow brush which the cows absolutely love.

We do a lot of work with the local community

I've been involved with the local show for many years. I have been on National Farmers' Union (NFU) committees at both local and regional level and, currently, I am representing our area on the NFU Scotland (NFUS) Milk Committee. We also like to encourage members of our local Young Farmers' Club (YFC) and host various events, such as stock judging. Out with the farming community, we often help local voluntary groups.

Today's pupils are tomorrow's shoppers

For this reason, we host regular school visits in partnership with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET). We also give talks to local schools and other community groups.

The best part of being a dairy farmer is the satisfaction

I get to help feed the world whilst working with my favourite animal. Plus, you can't beat the view of a field of Ayrshire cows with the Campsie Fells as a backdrop.

It might surprise you to hear that...

I once starred as 'Farmer Lewis' in an episode of Scottish children's TV programme 'Balamory' which was filmed on the farm.

If I wasn't a dairy farmer?

If I had the brains, I'd be a vet!

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