Major focus on tech for local pig business

Pic Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk'QMS. Lynn Argo Brigstanes Pig Unit Catherine, Stonehaven
Pic Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk'QMS. Lynn Argo Brigstanes Pig Unit Catherine, Stonehaven

A commitment to making use of new technology and improving efficiency is a key part of the business philosophy of Lynn Argo who is making her mark on the pig industry.

Lynn (25), who is based at Harvieston Farm, Catterline, Stonehaven, has a BSc Honours in Agriculture from SRUC Craibstone.

She has been working full-time in the family business since she graduated in 2014 and, along with her father, David, is determined to drive the business forward.

The firm of DW Argo has two main pig units - Brigstanes, just a mile away from the home farm, and Ellismoss, about 45 minutes’ drive away at Kinnellar.

Between them, there are 1,800 sows and 16 staff.

Lynn explained: “The nucleus herd is at Ellismoss. Each week, 90 to 100 gilts are either sold for breeding or retained from that unit, while the rest of the weaned pigs come to Brigstanes to be finished.”

The family have 400 hectares at their own farms and contract farm a further 150 hectares. Most of the land is down to cereals, which are all used for pig feed. They also grow potatoes – and daffodils for both flowers and bulbs.

Since finishing her degree and joining the family business, Miss Argo has done a bit of everything, but her key responsibility is to look after the approximately 5,000 fattening pigs out at “bed and breakfast” all over Scotland. She said: “I spend quite a lot of time on the road, checking the health of these pigs, selecting pigs for slaughter and organising transport at these outlying units.”

She reckons she is lucky that her father has given her a free hand on the farm and responsibility for certain areas. She said: “I did not expect to come home so quickly, but a long-term worker retired so the time was right, and I feel it is a natural progression to bring the knowledge from my degree back to the farm.”

Lynn is also a member of the management committee of the pig Monitor Farm group.