1st & 2nd Generation
The Hay family first came to Easter Rhynd when Thomas Hay rented the land from Wemyss and March Estates for £3.30 a hectare in 1892.
Easter Rhynd has been farmed by 5 generations of the Hay Family since 1892 when Thomas and his family first arrived. Thomas' son Charles followed in his father's footsteps taking over the farm in the early 20th century. It was during this time that the first tractor came to Easter Rhynd. It was a 1020 International with iron wheels. Sadly, Charles died when his children were still very young and the farm was run by a group of trustees including Charles' wife, Grace, and other family members. It was during this time that Easter Rhynd was bought from Wemyss and March Estates. In 1948, the same year the farm was purchased, Charles and Grace's eldest son Tom took over the running of the farm. Just a couple of years later Tom's younger brother Chuck joined the business.
Easter Rhynd saw huge changes under Chuck's control setting the foundations of what is here today.
In the early 1950's Tom moved to Panlathy Farm, where he and his family still farm today, leaving Chuck in sole charge at Easter Rhynd. At this time the farm saw a huge variety of crops and livestock on the farm. There were fattening cattle, about 100 ewes and a few sows. On the arable side the main crops were wheat, sugar beet, oats, barley, potatoes and turnips. Chuck oversaw large changes within the business, always keen to embrace new technologies and seek advances anywhere he could. He saw the last of the horses used and moved entirely to tractor power, he installed the first grain dryer at Easter Rhynd and also invested in the first self propelled, Massey Ferguson, Combine Harvester. By the late 50's and into the early 60's the last of the stock left the farm and it became an all arable business as it still is today. In 1972 Chuck bought the neighbouring farm called Balhepburn adding an extra 100 hectares to the existing 170 hectares at Easter Rhynd. It was this operation that would be taken on by Chuck's eldest son David in 1982.
David has pushed and progressed the business enormously over the last 30 years and has taken it from a 270 hectare enterprise to the current 2000 hectares now encompassed by Hay Farms.
During the 80's and 90's David looked after Easter Rhynd and Balhepburn putting a bigger focus on wheat and potato production. He also expanded into contracting for other local farmers, particularly combine harvesting and potato planting. In 1999 the opportunity arose for him to purchase another 65 hectares at a neighbouring farm, Balgonie. This put the business onto a scale and system which made taking on new land easier to manage and run. Since 1999 the business has been approached to take on an additional 3000 hectares of land on a mixture of rented, contract farmed or contracting agreements. Along with the rapid increase in land, the farm at Easter Rhynd has undergone huge changes over the past 15 years in order to facilitate the increase in produce and machinery. There has been 2 new sheds, a new grain dryer, 2 cold stores and a new potato grading line introduced in that time. Due to the increased workload the farm has gone from employing just 2 people to, at the busiest times, employing up to 20 people.
5th Generation - Present day
David was joined in the business by his son Finlay in 2011. Running the business together and using the family's 100 plus years of farming experience we feel we are in a good place to keep moving the business forward.
Finlay came home from Aberdeen University, where he achieved a BSc Honours in Agriculture and Business, in 2011 to join his father in the business full time. This has enabled David to share the workload and between them make a better job of what they are trying to do. We are constantly looking to analyse and assess the business to see how we can make it better, progress and develop for our benefit and our clients. Unfortunately Chuck passed away in August 2017 but not before he passed on his 80 plus years of experience to David and Finlay.