Cowfunding - Roads for the Mossgiel Girls

by Bryce Cunningham in Mauchline, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 4th September 2017 we successfully raised £2,060 with 54 supporters in 21 days

We want to make a road on our family farm; to allow the girls to walk to the best of the green grass without walking in sticky Ayrshire mud

by Bryce Cunningham in Mauchline, Scotland, United Kingdom

Forget Crowdfunding, were COWfunding

A few years ago, in 1786, a young man called 'Robert Burns', together with his brother, Gilbert, signed the lease of a small farm called 'Mossgiel'.  Having fallen on hard times this young partnership did not last for long with Robert swapping the plough for a celebrity status soon after and ending up as being recognised as one of the greatest scots who ever lived.

Moving on a couple of hundred years, and with the land of West Mossgiel Farm being tenanted by our family for 3 generations, back in 2014 we were a dairy farm being slowly squeezed out of business by the retail super-powers.  We were losing £10,000 per month, milking the Mossgiel Girls (the pretty awesome Ayrshire cows who stay on the farm with us) 4 times per day to squeeze every litre from our cows as cheaply as possible and were not enjoying our farming life - things had to change!!!

We decided enough was enough, so instead of using the girls as milk machines, we wanted them to be as happy as possible whilst working with nature (instead of chemicals) to grow their food.  We were also determined to take the power away from THE MAN - we would decide our future, not the commodity traders and supermarkets.  

The first step was money - we were in serious debt and our bank were not supportive of our 'radical' ideas so we were forced to sell half of the girls in December 2015 (one of the hardest days of our lives), but from there we chased our dream of being a family run, Organic dairy farm and bringing the awesome milk produced by the Mossgiel Girls directly to the market - so we launched the totally unique products;

'Mossgiel Milk'  - an old-fashioned, non-homogenized milk that has a special super-power when used in the speciality coffee scene 'Mossgiel Ethical Veal' - a fully sustainable source of rose veal, using ethics instead of tradition to shine a new light on a once deemed unethical food.


Today we have been producing Mossgiel Milk for 18 months and we are thoroughly enjoying our journey!  The Mossgiel Girls are milked twice per day, they graze the lush Ayrshire grass in the summer and a forage diet in the winter that we harvest in the summer months.  In Ayrshire - the summer can sometimes feel like winter and the girls notice this too;  They love being outside chewing the cud and eating the grass, but often, after heavy rain, the land leading to the fields becomes muddy and compacted - making the girls (and Farmer Bryce) feel a bit down in the dumps.

Our cowfunding campaign is set out to sort this - we want to build cow friendly roads around our farm to let the girls walk along to the lush pastures without drudging through the Ayrshire muck on the wet days.  Our tracks will be made by a super-environmentally friendly procedure called 'soil stabilisation', which means we dont need to use any heavy trucks to haul massive amounts of stone and other materials to the farm - lowering the carbon footprint and keeping with our vision of farming as naturally as possible.

We know the amount of money is BIG, but the tracks will not only help the girls get to and from the fields in comfort, but they will also allow us to work with our soils in a better way - to stop 'soil compaction' which stops water draining away, stops plants growing and stops our amazing soils from removing carbon out of the atmosphere.  Our soil is the most important part of our farm and is made up of organic matter, air and water.  Soil organic matter allows us a base to grow grass from, the grass absorbs sunlight and nutrients to grow the grass and absorb carbon from the atmosphere, the girls eat the grass, turn it into awesome Mossgiel Milk and more organic matter (or cow shit as it is best known....), the organic matter goes back onto the fields and the cyclical process continues - if we damage our soil, we damage our farm and our environment.   This is why we really want your help to build our cow roads.

Thank you for taking the time to read our message and please get in touch if you would like to know more about our family farm,

Farmer Bryce, Wife Amy, Boss Arran and all the Mossgiel team

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

MOSSGIEL SUPPORTERS BAG Need a new bag??? Why not support us for £10 and you could be walking around with your very own branded 'Mossgiel' bag, showing everyone that you supported us in our cowfunding campaign? We think they're moooo-arvelous.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

YOUR NAME HERE Your name will be included on the 'sign of supporters' - a sign that will be put up at the start of the tracks to let the Mossgiel Girls see who helped build their tracks

£30 or more

1 of 20 claimed

£30 Reward

DISCOUNT FOR A MONTH Order any milk, ethical veal, cheese, butter or eggs from us to collect in our wee farm shop and receive 20% discount off EVERYTHING for 1 month All orders must be placed by email or over phone

£40 or more

10 of 25 claimed

£40 Reward

GRAN CUNNINGHAM's COOK BOOK You will receive a super-rare, binded copy of 'Gran Cunningham's cookbook', or in other words - the food that kept all our friends comping over for supper! Your name will also be included on the 'sign of supporters' - a sign that will be put up at the start of the tracks to let the Mossgiel Girls see who helped build their tracks

£50 or more

1 of 10 claimed

£50 Reward

GUIDED FARM TOUR Come and meet all of the girls and boys who make up Mossgiel Farm. You will get a guided group tour by Farmer Bryce and you will see the baby calves, the Milking Mossgiel girls and all of the young-stock here on our Family Farm as well as hearing about how we are making our farm sustainable. You will also leave with a bottle of Mossgiel Milk and a super-rare certificate to say that you visited our family farm

£75 or more

1 of 40 claimed

£75 Reward

FEAST IN THE FIELD This is a chance to celebrate the opening of our cowtracks! We have teamed with the culinary awesomeness that is 'McCune Smith' in Glasgow; to put a dining table in the middle of the track. A meal for you with the Mossgiel Girls! You will brave the randomness of the Ayrshire weather to dine beside the girls under the clouds and eating only local food - including produce from our very own family farm

£100 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£100 Reward

NAME A CALF!!!!! For your awesome support you will get to name the next baby calf born on our family farm - not only that, the name will be carried through that calves family for generations - pretty coooool. Your own name will be written on a sign that will be placed at the very start of the road too!! That way the girls can see exactly who helped build their tracks when they head out to pasture :)

£100 or more

£100 Reward

YOUR NAME HERE Your name will be included on the 'sign of supporters' - a sign that will be put up at the start of the tracks to let the Mossgiel Girls see who helped build their tracks

£150 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£150 Reward

FARM EXPERIENCE DAY for one Spend the day with Farmer Bryce and the Mossgiel Girls. You will start at 5:30am with the milking and work a whole day to ensure all of the Mossgiel boys and girls are happy. Your jobs will include feeding, bedding, keech wheeching, milking and cleaning. You will also have your three meals with our family in Mossgiel Farmhouse and taste the traditional, wholesome cooking of Farmer Bryces wife, Amy.

£200 or more

1 of 3 claimed

£200 Reward

SPONSOR A COW, FOR A MONTH With this reward you will receive the equivalent of all of the milk from one of the girls, all to yourself, including updates on she is getting on throughout the month - with the girls averaging around 10 - 12 litres per day this would be perfect for the mega-Mossgiel Milk fan (Delivery to Ayrshire, Glasgow or Edinburgh)

£250 or more

1 of 5 claimed

£250 Reward

£300 WORTH OF MOSSGIEL MILK, MOSSGIEL CREAM AND GRASS-FED ETHICAL VEAL This reward lets you experience the full range of Mossgiel Farm. Here you can choose any combination of Mossgiel Milk, Mossgiel Cream and our Grass-Fed Ethical Veal to be delivered straight to you anywhere in Ayrshire, Glasgow or Edinburgh (up to 3 deliveries to complete order) Any combination can be used and everything will be made fresh to order :D

£400 or more

£400 Reward

FEAST IN THE FIELD FOR GROUPS OF 6 This is a chance to celebrate the opening of our cowtracks! We have teamed with the culinary awesomeness that is 'McCune Smith' in Glasgow; to put a dining table in the middle of the track. A meal for you with the Mossgiel Girls! You will brave the randomness of the Ayrshire weather to dine beside the girls under the clouds and eating only local food - including produce from our very own family farm

£500 or more

0 of 3 claimed

£500 Reward

£600 of GRASS FED ETHICAL VEAL When you would like to help us on our way with a £500 pledge, we know you are looking for a reward that is a little different........ as the only producers of Ethical Veal in Ayrshire we can offer you fresh (not frozen) packaged veal to the value of £600. Perfect for a chef, a restaurant or that massive party your planning with a barbecue!! Delivery restricted to Ayrshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh and in 3 deliveries


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