22-year-old sheep and dairy man named first Scottish Young Farmer of the Year

The Scottish Association of Young Farmer Clubs (SAYFC) announced the winner of the hotly-contested inaugural Young Farmer of the Year award.

Six finalists competed in the final stages of a comprehensive assessment at this year’s Royal Highland Show to reveal the leading Scottish Young Farmer.

Measured on expertise, knowledge and entrepreneurship, Andrew Neilson from Avondale YFC topped the leaderboard to take the top prize that was announced at the Royal Bank of Scotland RHS supper on Friday, June 22.

Andrew (22) farms 350 pedigree Holsteins and pedigree texels on the 400ac family farm in Strathaven, Lanarkshire.

The shortlisted candidates included:

  • Robert Campbell, Crossroads YFC;
  • Douglas Frame, Carluke YFC;
  • Scott Bourman, Carluke YFC;
  • Andrew Neilson, Avondale YFC;
  • David Comrie, Bankfood JAC;
  • David Mitchell, Biggar YFC.

The trophy, kindly donated by Sir John Campbell of Glenrath Farms, was presented by Ross McEwan in front of leading representatives from the farming, food and rural industries.

First Young Farmer of the Year competition

Penny Montgomerie, chief executive from SAYFC said: “The calibre of entrants and the shortlisted candidates were exceptional and a great reflection on the next generation of farming leaders.

This was a robust and comprehensive assessment that tested key skills essential to running modern businesses.

“SAYFC will continue this award for forthcoming years to support and champion the best of the industry and we were disappointed not to have a female finalist and would encourage them to participate next year.”

Prizes included £1,000 cash, a place at Oxford Farming Conference sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the use of an ATV for 12 months and a GPS system among several others.