Daye Tucker, owner of Carbeth Home Farm, Stirlingshire, ran her farm single-handed for 15 years.
Now past retirement age, Ms Tucker grasped the opportunity to mentor and offer an apprenticeship to a new entrant, Lawrence Martin, using SRUC’s modern apprentice model, following a chance Twitter conversation.
Mr Martin, who came from a non-farming background, studied for a higher national certificate in agriculture at Oatridge College and later worked at Carbeth, allowing him to work on the farm while learning practical skills.
Mr Martin says: “With no obvious succession, Daye and I connected at the perfect time in her life.
“She was looking for someone to help bring new energy and enthusiasm to the business.
“I was looking for an opportunity to get onto the farming ladder. Since then, she has become my mentor and great friend.”
With a background and interest in IT, Mr Martin brought new skills and efficiencies to the farm, using the technology which had already been invested but not fully utilised.
Ms Tucker says: “I have always seen the value of and been excited by new technology and how it fits with our largely traditional industry.
“AgriWebb Farm management software is a great example of something I spotted with potential and immediately alerted Lawrence.
“At one end of the scale I can walk a field and enter a task in the mobile app, such as a broken water trough or a large stone.
“At the other end, Lawrence does the heavy tech lifting, recording flock life data, dry matter paddock measurements, feed usage, sales data and much more.”
Looking to the future, the pairing intend to increase diversification to strengthen the whole farm business plan.
This will continue to grow their environmental, community and carbon efficiency credentials.