Loch Lomond farmers are honoured by NFUS
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.