Cattle keep Allan contented in his work

A BEAUTIFUL place and good employers have helped a Borders tractorman stay working on the same farm for more than three decades.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th April 2012, 8:42 am

Mindrum Farm’s cattleman for five years and tractorman for the previous 28, Allan Logan celebrated his 60th birthday last week – and he intends to spend a further five doing more of what he does in the same place close to the English-Scottish border.

“It’s a good place to be at – it’s a nice part of the country,” he said.

Mr Logan was one of many presented with long-service medals from the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland at the 28th lunch held by the Border Union Agricultural Society in honour of recipients earlier this year.

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From Haddington originally, Mr Logan was five when his family moved to Whitlaw Farm, near Lauder. They shifted again when he was a teenager – this time to Broomhouse Mains, near Duns. Allan left school aged 15 and went to work for Tom Hodge at Blinkbonny, near Nenthorn, Kelso, for a year before becoming a coalman for Pearsons of Duns for four years. But agriculture called him back and he returned to Broomhouse Mains for five years as a general farm worker.

It was in 1978 that he moved to Mindrum, employed as the farm’s tractorman by the late Honourable Peregrine Fairfax. And he became the cattleman there in 1995 after the then cattleman steward retired.

Now rented by Tom Neil of Howtel, near Cornhill, the 1,200 acres is a mixed farm, home to 1,200 Blackface and other ewes, and growing wheat, barley and oats. Previously it supported Simmentals, but now there is a 100-strong herd of cross Limousin and cross Angus suckler cows.

Life on a farm has changed much during Mr Logan’s career.

“There is more pace to the machinery now. When I came here there were four or five of us, but they’ve gradually moved away or retired, and it’s now just myself doing the cattle and two shepherds.”

The small team also work on the Howtel farm and other land rented at Callerburn, Reedsford and Branxton Hill farms, all within about five miles of Mindrum.

He’s sure he made the right choice to move into looking after cattle – “It’s more friendly with the cattle (than tractors). I do the cattle most of the time, it’s good and I’ve got a few pets!”

Asked what he has enjoyed about being in farming for nigh on 40 years in total, Mr Logan commented: “It’s fresh air and the variety of the job – you are not doing the same thing every day.”