A FARMER has raised more than half a million pounds towards his dream of becoming the country’s first buffalo mozzarella producer – but with a fortnight to go, he still needs £244,000 to hit the target.

Steve Mitchell – star of the BBC’s This Farming Life – has wanted to provide Scotland with its first ever home-produced version of the cheese for years. The dream began after TV chef Gordon Ramsay visited his award-winning Fife buffalo farm and they created a trial batch together.

Mitchell’s farm already produces burgers, sausages, pies and more. But now, he needs support from foodies across Scotland to turn the mozzarella dream into a reality. He is offering supporters of his crowdfunding campaign a series of rewards comparable to a 10% return on investment, delivered in buffalo vouchers, in addition to farm tours, the chance to name a buffalo and having your name captured in the build of the new facilities.

The ambitious crowdfunding target of £800,000 will enable Mitchell to build a manufacturing facility, milking parlour and slurry store.

The farmer said: “I am so grateful to all those who have shown their support so far, either by donating or by helping to spread the word. The social benefits of getting involved, such as farm tours and the chance to name a buffalo, have so far proven to be just as popular as the financial incentives. People seem really keen to see us succeed and that’s so encouraging.

“In these current political times, I feel more passionate than ever about local food and drink and about being able to contribute to my local community, as well as to the wider Scottish food and drink industry, by producing home-grown buffalo meat and, once we hit target, buffalo mozzarella.

“My business not only places animal welfare at the very top of the agenda, but we are also proud to provide local jobs and help towards Scotland’s strong foodie reputation.

“I am both humbled and excited to have reached over the £556,000 mark and urge anyone keen on supporting a local business (and a delicious product) to support the crowdfund now if you can and help us to reach our final target.”

To find out more and to see Steve’s crowdfunding video, visit www.thebuffalofarm.co.uk