From Windermere to Stratford-upon-Avon in One Day

“My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher but every day, three times a day, you need a farmers” – Brenda Schoepp

That quote rang true as we traveled from Scotland to England today visiting an agricultural newspapers and two beautiful farms.

Our study abroad group was fortunate enough to meet with Ben Briggs, editor of Farmers Guardian, in Preston to discuss the publication and tour the vicinity. There are about 20 editorial staff with 60 to 70 staff members as a whole company. Briggs explained that the goal of Farmers Guardian is to break down complex issues that farmers are facing and what global decisions mean for farmers. The newspaper sells about 34,000 copies of both Scottish and English editions nationally every Friday.

Afterwards, we traveled to Tamworth to meet with Rick Jones, Robert Leedham, and some of their friends and family at a little pub called White Lion. There we had a wonderful lunch consisting of roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding, roasted vegetables and cooked potatoes. Caleb and I had the opportunity to sit with Jones’ neighbors, the Gilneans who own a Holstein dairy farm with 200 head. Following lunch, we were able to choose from a selection of delicious desserts. I choose a banana spilt, which was a banana cut in half with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. I was so full that I wasn’t sure I would be able to eat dinner!

Jones and his wife let us tour their open garden and Holstein dairy operation at Haselour Grange! An open garden allows people to come to their property to explore the garden, feed the calves and look at the machinery. They own about 100 head of dairy cattle with a Hereford bull in the mix. The farm operates on a double-12 Herringbone parlor with the first milking shift occurring at 6 a.m., and the second milking shift occurring at 3:30 p.m. Cows are feed a total mix ration of chopped straw, corn and grass silage and rock salt (25% protein). A milk truck collects, on average, 3,500 liters of milk every day. Two of the major problems that dairy farmers are facing are Tuberculosis and Warble Fly. The Tuberculosis comes from badgers already infected with it while the Warble Fly goes into the back by the tall.

After visiting Jones’ farm, we went across Tamworth to Syerscote Manor where Leedham’s farm is. Leedham has a multitude of agricultural interests. He raises and releases about 500 pheasants a year. Our coach even got stuck behind a little pheasant that refused to move off the road! Leedham and his daughter also raise 166 Clifford Suffolk breeding ewes with 30 replacements. In addition to livestock, they also grow wheat, barley, oats, canola and beans. Half of their fields are wheat whereas only a quarter of it is canola, and they utilized an integrated approach by rotating the other crops. Their crops are planted in autumn, usually the last week of September/beginning of October. Due to SSSI regulations, the Leedhams are limited to what chemicals they are allowed to utilize. Exploring the farms was fun, but unfortunately, we had to head out.

Our study abroad group loaded up into the coach after thanking the Jones and Leedhams by providing them with some good ole buckeye candy, and we began our journey to Stratford-upon-Avon. Here we checked into our hotel for the night, and a group of us (including me) ate at a local pub called the Red Lion (ironic considering we ate at the White Lion earlier). Even though we have only been here for six days, tonight was by far my favorite day. Why? Well if you haven’t noticed by reading my shirt, I love dairy cattle. Being able to see a dairy farm outside of the one that I work on, and being able to talk to Jones about his dairy operation was not only incredible, but educational.

-Kaylee Jo Reed

Day 5 in the UK

We reluctantly said goodbye to Edinburgh today, and headed on our way to England. We had a beautiful, yet bouncy, ride through the Pentlands.  The landscape was striking- low mist hung on the hills, the rolling fields dotted with sheep, cows, and even goats. Someone spotted a Highland cow, with its shaggy coat and long horns.

We made a stop in the quaint town of Moffat, Scotland for snacks and shopping.
The break was welcome after the bumpy ride. Many people found gifts to take home and
enjoyed a “cuppa”. We were finally beginning to experience some of the stereotypical British
weather everyone kept talking about,  with mists, rain, and a slightly chilly wind.

We got back on our way, and arrived at our destination, Bowness-on-Windmere, England. We enjoyed lunch, which consisted of tea sandwiches and cakes.

After lunch, we walked on to the World of Beatrix Potter attraction.  After a short video about the author and the inspiration for her stories, we delighted at the displays and vignettes depicting various characters and events in Ms.Potter’s stories. There were a number of conversations about how our parents read the stories to us when we were children. There was even a garden designed to look just like the one where Peter Rabbit’s adventures occurred. The details were all there, down to the little blue jacket hanging like a scarecrow!

Our afternoon continued with a relaxing cruise on Lake Windmere. The views were beautiful, and it gave us all time to reflect on the awesome experiences we’ve had thus far.

-Suzanne Saggese

A Last Hooray in Edinburgh

Watch a quick video about our day!

A Small group of us walked to the Royal Mile and ended at the Queens Palace and Parliament.

The shops and bustling streets invite you to taste traditional Scottish foods and buy homemade goods.

The crown Jewels are housed in this building and while unable to photograph they are worth the view!

The view from top of the historical Edinburgh Castle showed the beautiful architecture.


The view of all of Edinburgh from the top of Arthur’s Seat was breathtaking. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

After a night of truly delicious and traditional Scottish foods our tour group got to enjoy an amazing night of singing, dancing and bagpipes.

  • Posted by Rachel Garrison





History, Golf and Sheep

Today got off to a start with a morning full of history that both Scots and Yanks could enjoy. At the Andrew Carnegie museum and birthplace, the curators have decided to focus on the man behind the millions, rather than the vast amounts of money that he made with his empire. From his family history in the textile business to his incredible philanthropic works, a comprehensive timeline of this Scottish-American was given, and his mark left on the world was displayed with fantastic visuals and great hands on activities the whole family can enjoy.

Next was a trek to the ancient town of St. Andrews, famous for its university, which served as the meeting place for William and Kate. More so than that, it is famous for housing the worlds oldest golf course, which also has several other modern -and cheaper- courses for golf enthusiasts to make a pilgrimage to. The surrounding beach was also a nice break from all the brick and asphalt, though the cold temperature and light rain made it feel less than tropical.

At this stop the greens keeper for this hallowed ground was met. He explained his tasks, experiences, and background. He also provided insight into the various pathogens that the grass faces, including anthracnose, Fusarium spp., and insect pests including leatherbacks.

Kinaldy farm was next, and after being herded into sheep trailers we were transported in Land Rovers around various sheep grazing fields and given demonstrations on how young sheep dogs gain experience. Various breeds were described and insight into the delicate sheep market was lamented by the farmers, who went on to show the group their innovative lamb operation.

On the way home, a rest room stop was made in a small coastal town with plenty of opportunities for ice cream, coffee, and lovely sites of boats and closely huddled seaside  homes.

The day was rounded off with a stop to a small Cuban shop to get a lamb wrap. A pint with some fish and chips was desired, but drunken kilt clad Scots were spilling out of the doors of every pub in crawling distance, so the small hole-in-the-wall Latin joint was a runner up to help cure the lamb cravings caused by the previous farm tours. Come morning we’ll see if the whisky can stave off the inevitable food poisoning.

-Caleb Mathias



Day three is in the books!

We started the day with breakfast at the hotel. Our first stop of the day was at SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College. The college is very similar to a Land Grant University in the United States and reminded me of Ohio State. There we learned about the programs that SRUC offers and a little bit about Scotland’s educational system. One thing that I found interesting was that Scotland is just now starting to see a disconnected public from agriculture. So, the college is trying to do more educational outreach to educated the public and children about where their food is coming from.
Then, we headed off to Roslin Institute Building. The institute is famous for the first animal cloned by a somatic cell otherwise known as Dolly the Sheep. Andy Peters, former Head of International Relations, had a presentation for us about the animal research that the institute is conducting currently. Their big project right now is researching the plasma in blood samples of pregnant cows to find out if the cow is pregnant as early as 8 days. At the institute they also served us a lunch consisting of sandwiches and desserts.
Next stop was Easter Howgate Farm a research center very close to Roslin Institute. There we saw lots of limousine cattle that were on different feed/test trials. They also had a few Holsteins, a Belgian blue, and some mixes. Most of the cattle were fed a mix of silage, dark grains, and barley. One of the more interesting tests being conduced was on measuring the amount of methane that the cattle produces. We also got to go into their sheep barn where they housed lots of bottle lambs.
Lastly, we went to Eastside Farm in Penicuik. This was my favorite stop of the day! The farm is set on 1230 hectares and has hundreds of Scottish Blackface sheep roaming the Pentland Hills. Alister Cowan is the farm owner and talked to us about what its like to run a hill sheep farm in Scotland. The farm has been in the family since the 1850s. The sheep were originally used for wool and now are all used for the meat industry. Alister doesn’t have to pay a feed bill because the sheep survive by grazing on the hillside. He also had his own windmill which provides electricity for his house and wood burner for his heating. I thought his lifestyle was fascinating and simple. Plus the views from his house were incredible!
Then we headed back to Edinburgh for the night where everyone was free to explore as they please!
Kaitlyn Evans


Our First Full Day

Our morning started with us flying thousands of miles above the Atlantic Ocean, and believe me when I say we couldn’t wait to reach Scotland and begin our adventure!
After leaving the airport, we started at the Scottish Farmer in Glasgow. This is one of Scotland’s only two agricultural magazines, which is very different from in the U.S. While at the Scottish Farmer we spoke with the editors, learned about the history of the magazine and of the history of Scottish agriculture, and even discussed where the editor saw Scotland’s farm community and the Scottish Farmer going.
From the Scottish Farmer we headed to Edinburgh, where we ate lunch at a tradition Scottish restaurant. Many of us even tried haggis for the first time; it’s an acquired taste…
The rest of the day was spent touring and exploring Edinburgh. One interesting thing our

tour guide told us is that Edinburgh has the reputation of having four seasons in one day. We should feel right at home because this sounds just like Ohio!

Edinburgh also gets about 12 thousand visitors a day, which is crazy! The entire country of Scotland has half a million people, and yet the city of London has 8 million people.
While on our tour, we learned about the Royal Mile and much of Edinburgh’s fascinating heritage. Learning about the Scottish flag and the kilt were two of these things.
At the end of the day, our group especially enjoyed getting to know each other better while learning about all of Edinburgh’s amazing architectural structures. This is a beautiful city and we can’t wait to see more of it!

– – Kat Sharp

Join us!

Join us on our journey of the U.K. as we explore agriculture, culture and the media! Each day a new student will share what they are experiencing on the trip through words, images and video.

  • Dr. Buck