Rural Services Scotland started life as Perthshire Machinery Ring in 1989 as a farmer controlled cooperative.
The main aim of the organisation was to assist its members to share machinery when not in use or to assist someone who was struggling with crops and required additional machinery. Over time, this led to the sharing of labour at busy times.
Initially, Perthshire Machinery Ring’s area covered the Carse of Gowrie but it was quickly realised that farmers there needed the equipment and labour all at the same time and so the group expanded to cover the whole of Perthshire, bordered by the A90 Dundee to Forfar road.
As the area expanded, a name change was required to include the wider area, so around 20 years ago – after the closure of Clyde West Machinery – the organisation was rebranded as Rural Services Scotland to encompass all the CWM members too. This new inclusive organisation has gone from strength to strength ever since, and today Rural Services Scotland has more than 600 members.
Its main aim continues to be putting members who can provide a service or do work with their equipment or labour in touch with those who require work to be done. This is hugely beneficial for both parties, as it means that members do not need to incur the expenses involved in owning and maintaining a full complement of equipment and staff.
Each year, as a member of the Scottish Machinery Rings Association (SMRA), Rural Services Scotland has a presence at the Royal Highland Show at its stand. John Gregory, secretary and treasurer of Rural Services Scotland, says it is always a great opportunity to meet the organisation’s members. In the current climate, the organisation is continuing to maintain this dialogue by telephone and online communication.
John is delighted to have Rural Services Scotland sponsoring the Championship Ring at this year’s Scottish Agricultural Show.
He said: “Each year we are involved in the Royal Highland Show and have a presence at the SMRA stand. It is always a great chance to meet the membership face-to-face.
“We wanted to be involved in the Scottish Agricultural Show because we know how important the RHS is to farmers and the rural community at large. It will be very much missed this year, but we were delighted to hear that the Scottish Agricultural Show will be taking place, virtually, instead.
“This is a valuable platform to get our message across to people about what we do and the services we provide, as well being a good opportunity to make the most of this unfortunate situation. We invite anyone who wishes to speak with us to contact us through our website to see if we can be of assistance to them.”
To find about more about Rural Services Scotland, click here to visit the website.