David Hamilton runs two farms as separate businesses, although some activities overlap. The first, a dairy, comprises 110 cows and another 100 followers, with all milk sold to Graham's. The second farm, separated by the River Tweed, produces beef, sheep and cereals. David has one full-time employee, Connor, and a contract shepherd for the sheep.
David’s father took the dairy on in the 1950s, running a pedigree Holstein herd. When the business converted to organic production 17 years ago they introduced some Friesian in order to develop a good grazing cow whilst maintaining the pedigree. The move to organic production was prompted by market forces and a desire to try something different.
The Hamiltons reduced their beef and sheep numbers to increase grazing and forage capacity for all the stock. They use their cereals for fodder and feed the straw to their sucklers, creating a good, sustainable production cycle. Some stock are grazed on organic farms nearby as well.
Whilst converting to organic production, the Hamiltons planted a number of hedges and have noticed a huge increase in wildlife, especially birds, including a barn owl.