Doug Niven was born in Duns in 1946 and started managing the family farm of Whitsome Hill near Duns in Berwickshire in 1964 and started MAMCO, the contract farm management business in 1985. Previously Doug had been involved in motor racing driving for the Border Reivers team, following on from his cousin the late Jim Clark, and won many championships in the U.K. driving saloons and grand touring cars. He spent 4 years farming in the Czech Republic and some time in Russia and visited China in 2005 to promote U.K. agriculture and cereal exports.
He is a past director of Scottish Enterprise Borders, and formerly a Scottish Agricultural College Council Member and has been active in visiting groups with BBSRC and SEERAD to SAC, Rothamstead and Silsoe Agricultural Research Institutes. He has been a member of SEERAD Agricultural Sustainable Agriculture (Crops) discussion group and Panel Member of SEERAD Research Organisation Knowledge Transfer and Exploitation Assessment group. He represented the Scottish National Farmers Union on the HGCA Research and Development Cereals Committee in London, as well as the R & D Knowledge Transfer and Marketing Committee for many years. He is past chairman of the HGCA Crop Evaluation Barley Committee which decides the annual winter and spring barley U.K. recommended lists as well as chairing the Scottish Consultative Cereals Committee. He became a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies in 1999 and is a past director of RSABI based in Edinburgh. He is a past member of the SNH TIBRE workshop group and he was the first farmer to gain accreditation to ISO 14001, the environmental standard, in the world following on from accreditation to ISO 9001, the quality management standard. In 1996 he was the first LEAF demonstration farmer in Scotland and in 1998 converted land into organic status for production of wheat, potatoes and barley.
Since 2006 he has been retained as a consultant with the Co-operative Farms Group Ltd and laterally with Farmcare Trading Ltd (part of the Welcome Group) and from 1998 to 2006 was operations manager for the Farmcare Scottish and North of England arable business, whose Scottish office is based at his home at Whitsome Hill and managed 25,000 acres from Aberdeenshire through Perthshire, including 8,000 acres in the Borders down to Yorkshire. He also has an active role as Factor for a large Borders estate and started using Global Positioning Satellite Technology in 1992 to soil map fields, using variable rate applications of fertiliser and chemicals from the information collated. For the past 25 years he presented a daily farming programme for Radio Borders and also for 20 years has written a regular weekly article for the Scottish Farmer. His hobbies include golf and shooting and is a family trustee of the Jim Clark Trust which is currently making plans to move the current museum to larger premises in Duns which is due to open with the financial support of Scottish Borders council in 2018.