John Hamilton, his wife Vanessa and their three now grown up sons, James, Charles and Harry, came to Aikengall Farm about 19 years ago. The farm is located within the Lammermuir hills, which rise sharply from the narrow flat coastal plain near Dunbar on the East Coast of Scotland. The land rises from sea level up to roughly 1000 feet in a short distance and the area is divided by deep ravines and dry river beds.

John runs 500 suckler cows all on grass, and uses Lincoln Red and Simmental Bulls. Calves are born in the spring and put straight out onto the grass for summer, where they stay until November. This allows the calves to grow and not get too fat. In the winter months they are put onto a diet of wholecrop silage. The calves are then weaned in January and continue on the same diet. John believes that the Simmental Cross Lincoln Red, and for that matter the Lincoln Red Cross Simmental, is just about the ideal suckler. Furthermore the Lincoln Red’s docility is passed onto their offspring and this in turn helps when the steers are finished, as they flesh up so well on a simple diet.