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M&S beef farmer Amy Garrioch and her father

M&S beef farmer, Amy Garrioch farms with her father and mother, Jim and Sandra, and her brother Neil. The family originated from the East Mainland of Orkney and in the 1980s they moved their young family and their 40 cows down to Huntly in Aberdeenshire.  

As a young girl, Amy was keen to return home to farm, but her parents persuaded her to attend Craibstone Agricultural College where she obtained her degree in Agriculture.

She then travelled to New Zealand where she worked on farms for nine months, giving her an insight into alternative management systems and Amy admits this was a huge knowledge-building experience.
As Amy’s brother was keen to progress the arable side of the business, Amy was delighted to take over the reins of the livestock sector, consisting of 200 breeding cows and some 900 breeding ewes, which she tends to on a daily basis with the support and help of both her mother and father. 

Their traditional farming methods sees their stock being fed a predominately home grown diet, comprising of grass, grass silage, barley and straw. 

Minerals are bought in to ensure the
stock are receiving a balanced, nutritional diet.

“For me, the best part of farming is being able to work outside, " says Amy. “I love working with animals and get great satisfaction from breeding new stock and seeing how they progress through the herd”
She can trace her cattle back over sixty years in their farm herd book which dates back to 1955, another tradition Amy is determined to keep!
“Being an M&S Select Farm is something that we’re very proud of as it demonstrates that we are part of a supply chain that works to high standards, where utmost importance is placed on animal welfare and environmental impact. We know that the beef on M&S shelves can be traced right back to our farm and so we work extremely hard to ensure that we produce the very best product we can. For us, using home grown feed as much as possible is important; not only does it reduce food miles and make us more efficient, it gives us even greater control over how our livestock is reared. And rearing great beef is something that we want to continue to do well for many more generations to come!”