The Origins of The Fettercairn Farmers' Club
Fettercairn Farmers’ Club was established in February 1826, after a meeting of local landowners and farmers. It was one of several hundred of such organisations in every corner of Scotland at that time.
From the middle of the Eighteenth century an agricultural revolution arrived in Scotland and reached the Howe o’ the Mearns where the “improving lairds” set about transforming an area of bogs and subsistence farming to the landscape which greets you today.
The large mainly arable farm businesses amid the red soil are still among the most productive and progressive in Scotland.
Traditionally an area famed for livestock and skilled stockmanship, these activities have also changed over the years. With fewer but larger cattle herds and sheep flocks, changes in the breeds and genetics, we are always sure to see an excellent selection of cattle and sheep at the show.
Under the first Club Chairman, Captain Thomas Ramsay of Balbegno Castle, the landowners and proactive tenants established a range of activities to educate, improve and in some cases amuse the members.
The very first show was held that summer of 1826 in Fettercairn and, with only a few interruptions due to wars and weather, it remains the premium agricultural event in South Kincardineshire.
Initially a library was funded and maintained by the club but in the early 1900’s the arrival of the Scottish Colleges of Agriculture provided a unique approach to agricultural education so the library faded from the records.
A ploughing competition to promote the new metal horse ploughs was an early activity and in the 1830’s still attracted an entry of a pair of oxen from the long lost farm of Boarstone near Fettercairn.
Hand milking and butter making have also gone by the way, as industrial techniques replaced many of the manual skills required on the farm.
Today we enjoy the return of the horse in ever increasing numbers at the show, in their modern role in sport and as a hobby for the enthusiast.
Shooting competitions were an integral part of the Club in its early days, so it is appropriate that this country pastime should also play its part in today’s events.
The success of the Fettercairn Show is due not only to those who pay their membership fee or entry money each year but also to the army of members and volunteers who play their parts throughout the year to ensure that everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy “A richt day at the Show”.