RSABI shares song with ‘strong message’ to support Scottish farmers

RSABI has recorded a song to support Scottish farming families who have been struggling with “one of the worst springs in living memory”.

RSABI has recorded a song to support Scottish farming families who have been struggling with

The charity team and about 100 members of the Farmers’ Choir recorded “Stand by Me”.   

Its emotive lyrics, sung beautifully by the choir, are set to remind farmers about all the people who are there to stand by them, with the video accompanying the music featuring some of the vast number of people standing behind our farming industry.  

Collective effort 

Those featured in the music video range from farm supplies retail assistants to vets, auctioneers, consultants and milk tanker drivers as well as farmers from different parts of the country, including Aberdeenshire, Lanarkshire and Perthshire.  

Carol McLaren, CEO of RSABI, said: “Our thanks go to Kate Picken MBE and the amazing Farmers’ Choir, who bring the ‘Stand by Me’ lyrics to life to really resonate in the choir’s upbeat version of the song.  

“We are also very grateful to the farmers and others in the industry who have been happy to support the filming at such a busy and difficult time of year.” 

Pete and son David Watson of Darnford Farm, Banchory appear in the video.

Challenging season  

Recent weeks have seen constant rainfall, combined with sleet and snow, creating major challenges for almost every part of the industry. For families, lambing in these conditions has been incredibly difficult, and even getting onto the land to feed sheep has been tough.  

With spring calving in full swing too, there are worries about a lack of feed and straw supplies, with grass growth slow to non-existent in the extreme conditions and mud and gutters threatening to get everyone down.  

Those waiting to get onto the land to get arable work underway have been really feeling the strain of worrying about getting crops into the ground in time, having invested heavily in seed and fertiliser.  

After a winter of very little frost and snow, following the extreme flooding events in the autumn, the ground in many parts of the country is saturated, and the worry is that it will take time to dry out even with an improvement in the weather.  

Farming community under pressure  

Ms McLaren added: “We know that some families have been finding it hard to cope with stress and anxiety and, coupled with the sheer exhaustion of working in these conditions, the pressure has been hard to bear for some.  

“So it is incredibly important to share the message, particularly to those working alone, that farmers have the backing and understanding of so many people, in the farming community and further afield.   

“The team at RSABI is also ready and waiting at the end of the phone 24/7 on 0808 1234 555 and our live webchat is available via”  

RSABI has also been working with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs to encourage people to #KeepTalking and share the #AreEweOKay message via marker spray artwork in lambing sheds and fields across the country. 

Calum McDiarmid and son Matt, Mains of Murthly, Aberfeldy, appear in the video.

Get free help

Among those who have joined the initiative to encourage farmers to check in with each other and remember to look after their own wellbeing is the Hamilton family, hosts of Scotsheep 2024, along with Martin Kennedy, NFU Scotland president and Jim Fairlie, minister of agriculture.

The charity is also offering free licenses to its Thrive Wellbeing app, worth £100 each, which can be requested by calling the Helpline or emailing and free counselling can be arranged simply and quickly.

RSABI offers free practical, financial, and emotional support, including counselling services, delivered quickly after receiving the initial enquiry. Its free confidential support service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by calling 0808 1234 555 (calls won’t show up on phone bills) or through a confidential webchat service, available on RSABI’s website.

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