Out and About with Shane Cadzow

...with Shane Cadzow, a partner in Cadzow Brothers Ltd., a business that has undergone some significant changes over the past year.

I am pleased to have been invited by Johnny to write a short article for the magazine explaining the recent changes that have taken place on Luing and with Cadzow Brothers. Many people have been asking the "what's what" question; therefore this is a good opportunity for me to describe the new set up.

The Cadzow history on Luing is probably well enough known to most readers but, briefly to recap, my father, Shane and his two brothers, Denis and Ralph, purchased the Holdings of North and South Luing after the Second World War. They developed the new Luing breed, which we have continued to nurture and further develop here ever since. Ralph retired from the business in 1983 and Denis passed his share to his son-in-law Bruce Young. My father passed his share to me. For many years, Bruce and I have farmed the land together and have been the partners of Cadzow Brothers.

In 2008 the land and properties were divided between the Youngs and myself. Luing and some properties, including Ardlarach, came to me, and Clachan and other properties went to the Youngs. The business of Cadzow Brothers continued with Bruce Young as my long-standing partner and Rory, his son, standing in for him latterly due to his ill health. We knew that at some stage it would be logical to split the business too and this has now been done.

The division finally took place on 31st July 2010. No one could pretend that this was an easy matter to accomplish and the period up to the final division was pretty fraught, whilst everything was sorted out, agreed and divided between us. It may not have been easy but it was done and the new Cadzow Brothers has emerged like the Phoenix from the ashes.

My wife Tooti and I are now operating as a new partnership, still trading under the name Cadzow Brothers. Les Robson, our Manager, and his staff have done and continue to do a sterling job with the cattle and sheep. We have downsized to 300 cows and are farming only on Luing. This first year will be difficult whilst we find our new feet and let everything settle down. Although we have had to give up the ground we rented from Martin Robb for the heifers at Comrie, they are now going to be brought up in Leccamore, on Luing. We have kept 1,500 ewes, running a mixture of Tups from Blackface to Lleyn to Texels.

The hardest part of the division was to witness the sale of half the herd, which we knew so well. It was not a great moment in our lives. Many thanks to so many of you for your support on the day of the sale; it was greatly appreciated by both my wife Tooti and myself. However, now we turn a new page and, trading as usual, we start to rebuild the business. We hope to catch up with everyone at sale time and are confident that, given a fair wind and full sail, we will continue to enjoy our lives and our farming enterprise on Luing.