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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - December/January 2003
A Farm for all seasons

The foot and mouth disease crisis of just over a year ago tore more than the heart out of part of Scotland’s farming economy – it also broke the heart of hundreds of rural families who saw their whole life turned upside down.

The effect of the foot and mouth crisis has meant a huge increase in the workload for the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Scotland’s only national charity that exists to help those in need throughout Scotland’s rural communities.

Request for RSABI aid have more than doubled and every effort is being made to raise funds to help meet most of the requests that have come from farmers, shepherds, lorry drivers, fencing contractors, auction market workers – and even a mole catcher!

One new way that the RSABI hopes to benefit financially is through the sale of a new farming video which they hope will appeal to Scots all around the world.

The video, A Farm for all Seasons, follows a year in the life of Mains of Mause, just outside Blairgowrie, Perthshire, which is home for Peter Alexander who runs the farm with his wife Pat and son Murray and daughter-in-law Pauline.

Murray and Pauline Alexander with the next generation at Mains of Mause.  Murray is holding Beth while Pauline is holding young Rob who in time to come will be the third generation to farm this land. The famous bridge over the River Tay at Meikleour, Perthshire, very near to Mains of Mause Farm.

Mains of Mause is well known in Scotland for the quality of its cattle and sheep and this home farm, together with other land in the area, extends to more than 9000 acres carrying 3500 ewes and more than 900 ewe lambs. The stock include Blackfaces, Blueface Leicester, North Country Cheviot and Texel with Suffolk and Charollais rams. Mains of Mause also carries 600 head of cattle, mainly three-quarter Limousin cross cows, producing top class progeny in a stunning setting.

The story of A Farm for all Seasons begins in January in the bleakness of winter high in the Glenshee hills, takes in the scanning of the lowground ewes and then moves into spring as lambing gets under way at Mains of Mause in one of the country’s biggest lambing sheds where management is of the highest standard. The preparation for sale and the auction of some of the Alexanders’ top cattle also feature strongly.

Also included is a report from the major Scotsheep exhibition which was held at Mains of Mause at the end of May, silage-making, and autumn movements of stock. The community aspect of rural life is not forgotten as the video also includes the Alexanders’ active involvement in community life at the local Golden Jubilee Ceilidh at Bridge of Cally.

Some of the Alexander family's Limousin cross cattle with the Mains of Mause farmhouse in the background. Iain Wilkinson, the livestock manager at Mains of Mause Farm, with some of his four-legged friends enjoying a ride after a long hard day's work. 

The video was produced by RSABI chairman Arthur Anderson, for 23 years producer of BBC Scotland’s Landward television farming programme who now runs his own video production company.

"The RSABI is extremely grateful to Peter Alexander and his family for agreeing to direct the funds from the sale of the video to the charity," said Arthur Anderson. "A Farm for all Seasons is a unique film in that it is very seldom video makers have an opportunity to follow the rhythm of the changing seasons for a whole year on a single farm and we are grateful to Peter Alexander for making it possible. Mains of Mause is in a beautiful part of Perthshire and the video will strike a chord with anyone with Scottish roots. We believe it is a story that will appeal to everyone who is interested in farming and Scottish country life and the income that the video produces will help us support those in need throughout rural Scotland."

The video is approximately one hour long and costs $25 USD (including post and package), and is available on VHS on either NTSC or PAL formats.

Payment can be made by credit card by phoning the RSABI on (44) 131 333 1023. Alternatively, cheques for $25 USD, made payable to The RSABI, can be sent with your name, address and postcode to:

Video Orders,
Royal Highland Centre,
United Kingdom.
EH28 8NB.

You can also contact the RSABI charity by e-mail at: or discover more about the work of the charity on our website:

Return to Dec/Jan 2003 index


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