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Centenary Podcasts

In Moredun’s 100th year, OnFARM’s Monty is learning about the history and heritage of this little-known Scottish success story over the course of a 6-episode podcast mini series.

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Episode 1: Moredun's 100 years of livestock health

In 1920, a visionary group of Scottish farmers came together to work out how to cut alarmingly high rates of livestock losses. Together, they formed ADRA – the Animal Diseases Research Association. These days, it is still owned and run by farmers, but is better known as the Moredun Research Institute for animal health. Many of the vaccines and treatments now routinely used on UK sheep and cattle were developed by Moredun scientists.

Guest speakers:

  • Prof Julie Fitzpatrick – Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute & Chief Executive of the Moredun Foundation
  • Mungo Guthrie – Board Member and Ayrshire sheep farmer
  • Professor Lee Innes – Director of Communications
  • Dr Lynsey Melville – Early Career Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr David Smith – Early Career Postdoctoral Researcher


Episode 2: Moredun on the cutting edge

The Moredun Research Institute has come a long way since it was set up by Scottish farmers in 1920, in a bid to cut devastating livestock losses. Monty hears how its latest breakthrough has revolutionised farming practices as far away as South Africa and Australia – and how researchers are even playing a crucial role in the fight against Covid-19.

Guest speakers:

  • Al Nisbet – Head of Vaccines and Diagnostics
  • Tom McNeilly – Head of Disease Control
  • Mara Rocchi – Head of the Virus Surveillance Unit
  • Jessica Allport – Merino sheep farmer in New South Wales, Australia


Episode 3: Moredun's Centenary: you're invited to a celebration

You’re on the guest list for a (virtual) drinks reception to celebrate 100 years of Scotland’s Moredun Research Institute. Just press play to attend, enjoy the (virtual) free booze and canapes, and mingle with the great and the good of livestock science.

Guest Speakers:

  • Sheila Voas, Scotland’s chief vet
  • Nigel Miller, former NFU Scotland president and co-chair of Farming for 1.5 Degrees
  • Phil Stocker, chief executive of the UK National Sheep Association
  • Katrina Barclay, RHET executive officer and RHASS board member
  • Bridget Taylor, Cheshire veterinary partner and Moredun Foundation Board Member
  • Rachel Hall, recent recipient of a Moredun Foundation grant to study veterinary science in the USA


Episode 4: Passing the baton - A chat with the Moredun Chairmen

We’re rounding off 2020 by eavesdropping on a chat between the Moredun Foundation’s outgoing chairman Ian Duncan Millar, and his successor Gareth Baird. Ian chose to retire at the end of 2020 so he could end on the high point of a year of centenary festivities. Alas, this was not to be. But we hope this episode (particularly a surprise right at the end) will be a nice memento. From all at OnFARM, happy retirement Ian, and best of luck Gareth!


Episode 5: Equine Grass Sickness - Her Majesty's Balmoral losses and a push for a cure

Her Majesty the Queen’s Balmoral estate lost 5 Highland ponies in less than a year to Equine Grass Sickness. The disease is almost always fatal to horses, and seems to affect Scotland worse than other parts of the UK. Sylvia Ormiston, who manages Her Majesty’s Balmoral stud, recalls the five losses, and describes how it prompted her to get more involved in searching for a cure. We also meet Grass Sickness fundraiser Yvonne Maclean, while Beth Wells from the Moredun Research Institute details new efforts to find a cure.

For more on funding and supporting a cure for Equine Grass Sickness, please visit:


Episode 6: HRH The Princess Royal launches new Equine Grass Sickness fund

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially launches a research drive to study Equine Grass Sickness, an often fatal disease of horses. The Moredun Foundation and The Equine Grass Sickness Fund have joined forces to launch a three-year research Fellowship, bringing together a partnership of horse owners and scientists. HRH The Princess Royal is Patron for both charities.


Moredun Chairman wins agriculture's Ed Rainy Brown Award

OnFarm catches up with the Chairman of the Moredun Foundation, Gareth Baird, upon receipt of the prestigious Ed Rainy Brown Award to celebrate his long service to agriculture.

Equine Grass Sickness: updating The Moredun's search for a cure

On Monday (16th January 2023), we’ll hear an update from The Moredun Foundation and the Equine Grass Sickness Fund on their progress.

In February 2021, Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, was a guest on OnFARM, launching a fundraising drive to find a cure for Equine Grass Sickness. The mysterious disease is almost always fatal to horses, and, in recent years, had killed 5 prized Highland ponies on Her Majesty the Queen’s Balmoral estate. Efforts to find a treatment are being led by Dr Beth Wells of Edinburgh’s Moredun Research Institute, while fundraising is spearheaded by RHASS director and equine vet Anne Logan. In this episode, Anna speaks with Beth and Anne for an update on their important work.

We are grateful to Horselyx for supporting this episode.


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