Scootin’ to Scotland

“Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us,” Robert Burns wrote in the poem To a Louse. We were privilege today to dive deeper into his story as we made our way to our final destination- Edinburgh. 

We began the day by packing our bags and headed up to Scotland. Our first stop was Ellisland. The home and farm of famous poet Robert Burns. Burns was given the farm when he was 20 years old. The farm dates back 250 years. For the time Burns owned the farm, Ellisland was more than triple the size of average farms in the country. Burns purchased Ayrshire cattle to milk. Which eventually became the worlds biggest milking cow. 

Burns was most inspired to write during his years at Ellisland. The scenery and way of life allowed us to put ourselves in the shoes of Burns.

From there we drove up the country side where we were surrounded by mountains and farms as far as the eye could see. We stopped the bus to take pictures of this indescribable scenery. Throughout our trip I have been intrigued at the way the United Kingdom has conserved their history while embracing change and innovation. The country does this with little land in comparison to the United States. 

We then ventured to The Scottish Farmer. This is the third publication we have visited during our time in the United Kingdom. The publication is smaller, but the history is richer. The company began 126 years ago and Ken Fleger has been the editor for 42 of those years. The Scottish Farmer is located in Glasgow, Scottland- the hub of Scottish agriculture. The publication sells roughly 14,500 copies weekly. Half of the copies are sent to subscribers and the the other half sold in stores or new stands around the country. At the peak of production they were selling 23,000 copies. However the decline in print copies is happening everywhere, including the United States. 

Fleger isn’t worried about print declining too much because farmers want something tangible to read in the morning with their cup of coffee. The Scottish Farmer has a different approach when it comes to putting content online. They do not have a special online team that creates new content specifically for social or the website. Instead, they post the stories online when deemed appropriate. 

“In ten years time [the paper] might not even be here but it depends on what [our] generation wants,” Fleger expressed.

Fleger’s biggest advice to our group, “don’t be a snowflake.”

Fleger sees the biggest problem with employees are they don’t want to stick things out through the hard times. However, jobs aren’t always fun and it is important to get through the harder times to rise to the top. 

As we settle into Edinburg, students are excited to finally have a place to stay awhile. We will be staying here for the remaining five nights until the end of our U.K. adventure. We will be soaking up as much of the Scotland culture as we can during our time in Edinburgh.

And that’s the tea for today. Cheers!