039 – Embracing Change

Rock & Roll Farming with Caroline Millar

Tonight I’m heading up to Auchterhouse in Angus in the East of Scotland to talk to Oxford Farming Conference 2018 Chairman Caroline Millar.

We hear about where Caroline and her husband Ross farm now near the city of Dundee, and her early life growing up on her family’s farm in Perthshire where she got her first taste of what running a commercial tourism business involves by helping with bed and breakfast guests from all over the World.

We talk about how they conceived the idea of their high-end luxury lodges for couples business, thehideawayexperience.co.uk and the huge amount of market research they undertook before starting in 2005 with a converted bothy on the farm. We discuss how the business has taken off and grown since then, and some of the most enjoyable aspects of running an agri-tourism business, as well as some of the challenges.

We also talk about the huge potential there is for growth in the UK agri-tourism market generally.

We then hear at length about The Oxford Conference, which since 1936 has been a unique and different agricultural event where industry leaders, innovators, and progressive farmers have gathered to share ideas, debate policy, and make industry connections.

We talk about how Caroline first got involved when she spoke there in January 2014, and her subsequent involvement firstly as a director, and now for 2018, Chairman of the event, which she describes as a career and life highlight.

We talk about the theme of this year’s conference ‘Embracing Change’ and some of the highlights to look out for, including talks by Secretary of State Michael Gove, and USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney, and much more.

It was an absolute pleasure to talk to one of the brightest and best in the Agricultural industry tonight, and learn more about her life and career. Check it out folks..


This episode is kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru. Visit their website at nfu-cymru.org.uk for more information.