Investigating the career of the editor of the Scottish Farmer

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Ken Fletcher has retired as editor of the Scottish Farmer. He is an award winning journalist who worked on the paper for 46 years.

He travelled the globe to see how others do things in the world of farming. He covered major stories including foot and mouth.

He has been helping out on farms since he was a boy. At the age of 17 he got a job that would keep him close to the land.

Ken Fletcher, said: “My first ever story was about the weather and some things never change. The weather always seems to be because it is the one thing farmers talk about when you see them.

"They are never really very happy about it. It is either too dry or too wet or too windy. Some of them say they like a wet spring and then a dry summer. They like a wee bit of rain and then a month of dry weather for the harvest. That might keep them happy."

Ken travelled the globe to see how others do things in the world of farming. Credit: PA

The Scottish Farmer has been trying to keep its readers happy since 1893. It is one of the world’s oldest agricultural publications.

Ken added: “It is more or less an institution, they call it the farmers bible in Scotland. I think that goes back to the time where the original owners of the newspaper were actually very presbyterian in their outlook.

Over the decades the paper has supported, informed and entertained the agricultural community.

Ken said: “The paper has always been printed in Glasgow. Glasgow was an agricultural centre back then. The railway would terminate there so the livestock that would come from the western highlands would come into Glasgow. Dairy products from Ayrshire would come in by train so it was very much a hub.

“We had a panel of experts who appraised butter from all over Scotland. They gave them a score out of 10 and sent them back a written critique about their butter making. It was a source of much enjoyment and anguish because some of the young dairy makers had to be told that their butter was rancid."

Ken explains how since the creation of the paper some of the stories have stayed the same.

He said: “The stories have changed in some ways because of the advancement in technology but they have also stayed the same because of the weather. The weather very heavily features in every edition of the Scottish Farmer."

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