My family have farmed in South West Scotland for hundreds of years.
As a Member of Parliament from 1974-1987, and a European MEP from 1994-2004, I have a vast knowledge of not only politics, but also agriculture throughout the world - having visited almost all the African countries, and many parts of Europe, America, China, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
The highlight of my political career was as the European President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly comprising 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific. I met many Presidents including Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro.
During this time I continued farming increasing the dairy herd from 60 to 250 milking cows and, having been caught by quotas, in 1981 I moved out of dairy and into beef, and the first 16 heifers I bought happened to be Belted Galloways, and thus the Park Herd was established.
The herd was built up to 160 breeding cows, one of the largest herds in Europe, and with Billy Cloy as Stockman the Park Herd became renowned for its quality and health status, firstly winning the open shows in the South West of Scotland, and culminating in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with the team, consisting of the senior bull Park That’s Life, and 2 cows- Park Picnic and Park Petunia - winning most of the major shows in the United Kingdom.
After retiring and selling most of the farm, I kept a nucleus of my best breeding cows. In 2010 I showed my bull Park Perseus, and won the Championship for the Belted Galloways at the Royal Highland Show, and his straws have been exported throughout the world.
As a friend of the late Hon. Miss Flora Stuart, and a Council Member and past Chairman of the Society, I have a great interest in the Society as it has grown over the years.