A Perthshire beef farmer had some unexpected glamour added to his working day when Katharine Brown, Miss UK, paid him a visit.Miss Brown is this week travelling to China for a three-week trip representing the UK in the glittering Miss International competition.
Miss International (the pre-event for the Shanghai World Expo 2010) takes place in Chengdh and her China adventure will see Miss Brown taking part in a flurry of media and judging panel interviews in the country, which is enjoying spectacular economic growth.However, while Miss Brown has been enjoying a jet-setting lifestyle throughout her reign as Miss UK, and as Miss Scotland 2009/10, she is also proving that her feet are still firmly on the ground – and even in wellies on occasion!
Quality Meat Scotland is currently running a “Behind the Label” campaign to help consumers understand more about the people, skills and tradition which are behind the production of Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork and encouraging people to visit www.getbehindthelabel.com for an opportunity to hear from farmers on line.
However, when Miss Brown said she was keen to improve her understanding of Scotch Beef production in person, Norman Taylor, who farms with his wife Ann, at West Busby near Methven in Perthshire was more than happy to assist.
During a visit to the farm Miss Brown, Healthy Eating Ambassador for QMS, learned about the stockman skills and care behind the production of Scotch Beef, along with the quality assurance standards and traceability which underpin the whole production chain.
A farm tour included an explanation of cattle management, including feeding and breeding, and the skills required when cows are calving to ensure the newborns get the best start in life.
Miss Brown’s mother was brought up on a farm and, while she now leads a hectic city lifestyle in the west end of Glasgow, she has clearly retained a real interest in farming and the countryside.
A barrage of questions from her saw Mr Taylor enlighten Miss UK on the difference between “cows” and “heifers” and the fact that each and every cow, bull and calf is individually identified and has its own passport.
Undaunted by a downpour during her visit Katharine pulled on a pair of wellies and was introduced to some of the Highland cattle which Mr and Mrs Taylor breed at West Busby.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever answered so many questions about cattle in quick succession - she’s certainly got plenty of enthusiasm and interest in farming and it was a pleasure to show her what we do.
“Ann and I wish her all the very best for her trip to China – though I doubt very much she’ll be wearing wellies on the catwalk over the next few weeks!” said Mr Taylor.
Katharine’s Mum, Marlyn, who recently retired as head teacher at Blackford Primary School, and Bridge of Earn-based Aunt and Uncle, Margaret and John, will be travelling to China to support her.