Loch Lomond farm­ers are hon­oured by NFUS

The Oban Times - - Farming Views -

A FARM­ING cou­ple from Luss have been given the NFU Scot­land and NFU Mu­tual’s pres­ti­gious Am­bas­sador Award.

Anne and Bobby Lennox, from Shantron Farm, on Loch Lomond­side were an­nounced as win­ners of the tro­phy at NFU Scot­land’s an­nual din­ner, in Glas­gow ear­lier this month.

Es­tab­lished in 2009, the Am­bas­sador Award was set up to recog­nise those in­di­vid­u­als who have played an in­flu­en­tial role in com­mu­ni­cat­ing the work, chal­lenges and the value of Scot­tish food and farm­ing to a wider au­di­ence.

The cou­ple are wor­thy win­ners and well-known faces to TV au­di­ences. They were one of the farm­ing cou­ples to star in the first se­ries of the BBC’s award-win­ning This Farm­ing

Life pro­gramme, which aired in spring 2016. Im­por­tantly, the award is also in recog­ni­tion of the stal­wart sup­port that Anne and Bobby have given to hill farm­ing, the young farm­ers’ move­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and tourism over many years.

Bobby joined the fam­ily part­ner­ship in 1974. Shantron is a 5,000-acre hill sheep farm car­ry­ing 1,500 ewes and 30 suck­ler cows.

Af­ter a six-month Young Farm­ers Ex­change to New Zealand in 1979, Bobby started per­for­mance record­ing the Black­face flock, and was one of the founder mem­bers of the Black­face Sire Ref­er­ence Scheme. This pi­o­neer­ing move away from se­lect­ing Black­face sheep solely by looks but also record­ing per­for­mance and ma­ter­nal traits of the stock has been a suc­cess and eight of the top 20 per­for­mance recorded Black­face sires are from Shantron.

An im­por­tant part of the busi­ness is a thriv­ing bed and break­fast en­ter­prise, where lo­cal pro­duce and stun­ning views have brought rave re­views.

Bobby is now pres­i­dent of the Scot­tish As­so­ci­a­tion of Young Farm­ers’ Clubs (SAYFC) and the cou­ple have hosted thou­sands of schoolchil­dren on their farm, be­ing ar­dent sup­port­ers of the Royal High­land Ed­u­ca­tional Trust (RHET), the body that aims to bring farm­ing and the work­ing coun­try­side to life for young peo­ple.

Bobby has also been a branch and area chair­man of NFU Scot­land, and was a long-serv­ing mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing hill farm­ers on the union’s Less Favoured Ar­eas com­mit­tee. In ad­di­tion, he is a re­gional ad­viser for More­dun, the re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion spe­cial­is­ing in an­i­mal dis­ease.

SAYFC chief ex­ec­u­tive Penny Mont­gomerie said: ‘On be­half of all Scot­tish young farm­ers, we would like con­grat­u­late our pres­i­dent Bobby and his wife Anne on this well- de­served ac­co­lade.

‘They are true am­bas­sadors for the Scot­tish agri­cul­tural in­dus­try, pas­sion­ately pro­mot­ing food and farm­ing both on and off farm and we are de­lighted to see them recog­nised.’

Lo­cal RHET or­gan­iser Sheila Ban­ner­man added: ‘Their en­thu­si­asm for food and farm­ing is in­fec­tious and has a huge in­flu­ence on school chil­dren. Bobby was al­ways in­volved with RHET Clyde, but he be­came a di­rec­tor of RHET Dum­bar­ton, Lomond and Ren­frew­shire when it formed in 2007 and he, and Anne, are tire­less sup­port­ers of our work in this area.

‘Year in, year out, Bobby and Anne host nu­mer­ous groups of pupils at Shantron – not just lo­cal schools but also from Ayr­shire and Dum­fries and Gal­loway – and Bobby reg­u­larly helps us out with class­room vis­its to schools. He is a reg­u­lar fea­ture in the two- day food and farm­ing event we stage each year, en­ter­tain­ing and en­gag­ing with the hun­dreds of schoolchil­dren who at­tend.’

Anne and Bobby Lennox have ded­i­cated years to the union and young farm­ers.

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