The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) is set to release a cover of ‘Stand by Me’ with around 100 members of the Farmers’ Choir.

The charity, which provides emotional and financial support to people in Scottish agriculture, has said Scottish farming families who have been enduring “one of the worst springs in living memory” will have their spirits lifted by the “message of support”.

The song cover aims to remind farmers about “all the people who are there to stand by them”, the charity said.

A video will accompany the song and will feature people who are standing behind the farming industry.

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.

Chief executive of the RSABI, Carol McLaren, 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.

“Keep an eye on RSABI’s social media platforms and YouTube channel where the video will be shared soon.”

Weather challenges

Recent weeks have seen constant rainfall, combined with sleet and snow, creating major challenges for almost every part of the industry and, for families lambing in these conditions, it has been “incredibly difficult”, the RSABI said.

With spring calving in full swing too, there are worries about 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” 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 it will take time to dry out even with an improvement in the weather, the charity said.

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.”

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.