Milking it – MEP signs up as farm hand for a day

26 July 2006
Alyn Smith MEP, the SNP's European spokesman got down to some real work yesterday with a day at Yester Mains dairy farm in East Lothian.

Mr Smith, who is currently taking part in two weeks of work experience in different Scottish industries, spent the day tagging calves, milking and feeding the cows under the watchful eye of Farmer Simon McCreery.

Speaking after the afternoon milking Mr Smith said

"This has been a fantastic experience - seeing how the farm really works and what issues dairy farmers have to deal with.

"They had me doing a bit of everything from tagging the calves to looking after the cows at milking time - and they made sure I saw all the forms that have to be filled out.

"Yester Mains farm is on to a really good thing, providing milk directly to the local community instead of shipping it across Scotland to be processed for it then to have to travel all the way back once it's been bottled.

"Not only are they helping to reduce the distance the milk travels, they're also ensuring that the money to be made from the milk stays in the local community and providing the local community with a top quality product - and as it was served when I and a few other local farmers went to lunch I can testify that it really is a top quality product.

"What is happening at Yester should be a real inspiration for other farmers across the country. When other farms are facing problems over the price of milk this shows that there is an alternative to the big supermarket suppliers.

"Scotland's farms produce some of the world's best food and drink, we must be proud of that and we must work to make sure all our farmers get a fair return for their produce."