Nominations open for 2 major Scottish farming awards

The search is on to find the very best beef and sheep farms in Scotland for two high-profile farming awards.

The AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year and AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year awards set out to find and reward farms which exemplify the best in livestock production.

The recipients of both awards will each receive a £500 cheque plus a £250 voucher to celebrate their success at a restaurant in the Scotch Beef Club – the club run by QMS with members committed to serving top quality Scotch Beef.

These awards help to raise the profile of the dedication and passion of the cattle and sheep farmers in Scotland who work hard to produce top-quality Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI and the fantastic stock management skills the industry is renowned for.

The organisers of the awards, which are sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors and supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), are now encouraging farmers and others involved in the industry to nominate farms they feel are worthy of receiving the accolades.

The awards will be presented at AgriScot at Ingliston on Wednesday, November 21.

Last year’s winners

Last year’s winners Charley and Andrea Walker from Barnside Farm, near Duns, were awarded AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year in November 2017.

Barnside is a 250ha unit which operates a low-input, grass-fed, organic farming system supporting 840 Easy Care ewes and 220 hoggs.

“Getting the award was an unexpected surprise,” said Charley Walker. “To receive such a prestigious award as this was a great way to round off the farming year.

In an industry like farming, where we can often work alone for large parts of the year, being recognised by others as doing a good job is a huge boost.

Their delight was mirrored by Robert Fleming who runs Castle Sinniness Farm near Glenluce which was announced as AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year in 2017.

The farm runs a low-input grass and forage-based paddock grazed system which supports the main herd of 220 Aberdeen Angus and Angus-cross suckler cows plus a further 600 cattle reared under contract.

“It was a great honour to receive an award like AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year,” said Fleming, who farms in partnership with his father John and mother Rachael.

It’s really encouraging to know that what you do is appreciated and that people think you have done a good job.

He added: “I would definitely encourage others to apply for the award. If you enjoy what you do and you’re passionate, then put your hat in the ring.”

Robert Neill, AgriScot chairman added: “Our industry is about to face one of the biggest challenges it has ever seen – Brexit.

“It, therefore, has never been more important to promote what we do in Scotland so let’s shout from the hilltops about our industry. By entering these awards you can help promote livestock farming in Scotland.”

Douglas Bell, director of industry development at QMS, added: “Entries are welcome from producers with different types of livestock enterprises across Scotland who can demonstrate enthusiasm and focus in providing efficient, profitable production of Scotch Beef and Lamb, coupled with excellent stock management skills.”

Farmers can either apply themselves or nominate, in confidence, other beef or sheep producers.

To nominate a farm for either award, email its details to: [email protected]