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Farming in Ayrshire immediately brings to mind 2 names, those of Ayrshire Cattle and Dunlop Cheese. These are historically linked, and developed as a result of the climate of the county.

Agriculture in Ayrshire followed the standard pattern of small farms, often worked in runrig (working strips of land allocated to tenants annually by lot), each producing a little of everything, with a few cattle, some sheep, perhaps a pig, and growing a basic variety of crops for human and animal foodstuffs. Oats were the commonest grain.

Agricultural improvement of the late 18th Century brought many changes still evident in the many farmhouses of that period, and in the fields and shelter belts which were a feature of improvement. At the same time, scientific enquiry was being brought to bear on farming methods.

Recent upheavals in farming and land economy are altering this landscape. Sheep are now much commoner on the lower ground, and have often been replaced by trees on the high rough grazing. Many farmers have left dairying, and the tendency is towards bigger farms and intensive methods, with the emphasis on rearing beef cattle and sheep.

Associated with the farming industry are the West of Scotland Agricultural College (now the Scottish Agricultural College) at Auchincruive, which grew out of the Kilmarnock Dairy School, and a specialised dairy research institute near Ayr, The Hannah Research Institute.

Images have been allocated into the following categories and subcategories.


- Animals

- Chicken Production

- Chickens

- Poultry

- Crops

- Hay

- Dairy

- Farming

- Forestry

- Instrument Makers

- Markets

- Feeing fair