Agriculture; Rural Recreation & Tourism Management

Campus: SRUC Oatridge, West Lothian; SRUC Auchincruive
Class of 1999, 2001, 2004

'Fresher than the udders' is the rather wonderful catchphrase of Roan's Dairy, located just outside Dalbeattie which is run by Tracey, Steven, Aylett and Stuart Roan, a family of SRUC alumni.

Stuart Roan had always wanted to sell milk direct to the customer, giving today’s consumers the choice of fresh, local milk with traceability and quality. With the dairy industry in crisis and milk price at an all-time low, the Roan family realised that they needed to do something to secure their future and provide for the next generation.

Tracey Roan, one of the partners at Roan’s Dairy, explains how their business was launched: “With all four of us working together, using our different skills gained at SRUC’s Auchincruive and Oatridge campuses we knew that we could work together. Steven, Stuart and Aylett studied Agriculture and I did my Honours Degree in Rural Recreation and Tourism Management. Auchincruive was where I met Steven, my husband!

"In September 2015 we launched Roan’s Dairy and it has been udder chaos, but we are seeing a great demand for free range milk from our doorstep customers, hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops.

"Our milk is not just any ordinary milk you can get in the supermarket. Ours is from grass fed, free range cows and this is something that that we are very passionate about. We don't just sell our milk; we sell our story and that's what customers like about us. We are the only family run dairy farm that sells milk direct to the consumer as free range within Dumfries and Galloway.”

Steven and Stuart are the sixth generation of Roans to be involved in dairy farming. The family has been farming at Barnbarroch since 1896. Stuart and Aylett farm at Barnbarroch with their 2 sons Fergus and Fraser. Tracey and Steven farm just 3 miles down the road at Boreland of Colvend with their son Andrew and daughter Lucy.

"At Barnbarroch we milk 120 Holstein cows with two robots, and at Boreland we milk 180 pedigree Holstein in a parlour. The Roans have always milked cows and we have a photo of great grandpa Roan in 1946 delivering milk on horse and cart in the village.

“Using social media is one of our key ways to provide a high level of customer service. Facebook is used a lot for our doorstep service, it’s a way of making it very simple for our customers to contact us to change their order. However, we know that there are still a number of potential customers out there not online, so we also attend local shows and community events, doorstep leaflets, hand out free samples, sales calls and also work with the local media."

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