Herd dream is now re­al­ity for young farmer

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - FARMING -

An am­bi­tious young farmer who has built up a herd of al­most 50 cows has been crowned the win­ner of this year’s Royal North­ern Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety (RNAS) un­der-35 award.

Dun­can Mor­ri­son grew up on a beef farm near In­verurie.

The 27-year-old has a pas­sion for cat­tle and his long-term goal is to de­velop his own herd of pedi­gree Aberdeen-An­gus cat­tle, with help from his girl­friend, Claire John­stone.

Af­ter leav­ing school, he com­pleted a BSc in Agri­cul­ture at SRUC’s Craib­stone cam­pus, near Aberdeen. Since then he has held two stockman jobs on north­east farms, and more re­cently he worked as a farm man­ager at Meikle Mal­dron Farm, near Ban­chory.

Fol­low­ing a three-week trip to New Zealand on a schol­ar­ship with the Aberdeen-An­gus Cat­tle So­ci­ety, Mr Mor­ri­son came back to news that he was be­ing made re­dun­dant.

“I didn’t re­ally want an­other job. For the last few years be­fore that I had al­ways been think­ing about start­ing up some­thing on my own,” said Mr Mor­ri­son.

“When I got made re­dun­dant my boss said he was sell­ing all the cows and the farm was go­ing to be rented out. I thought it was an op­por­tu­nity and I asked him to sell me the cows and rent me the ground.”

He ad­mits it was not an easy task, how­ever he se­cured a loan from his bank and made use of ANM Group’s live­stock fi­nance scheme to pur­chase the cat­tle.

His herd cur­rently stands at 45 suck­ler cows, com­pris­ing Sim­men­tal and Aberdeen-An­gus, which are kept out­side all year round. All off­spring are sold as weaned calves to make life sim­ple for Mr Mor­ri­son, who also runs a fenc­ing business.

Away from farm­ing and fenc­ing, Mr Mor­ri­son is heav­ily in­volved with Young Farm­ers and he is cur­rently agri and ru­ral af­fairs chair­man at the Scot­tish As­so­ci­a­tion of Young Farm­ers’ Clubs.

A ci­ta­tion for the award, which is spon­sored by SRUC, de­scribes Mr Mor­ri­son as “some­one who gets their head down, works hard and en­cour­ages oth­ers”.

Mr Mor­ri­son will be pre­sented with his award at a spe­cial awards lunch on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 27, at the Jury’s Inn at Aberdeen Air­port.

Tick­ets cost £25 and are avail­able from RNAS sec­re­tary Ali­son Argo by call­ing 07714899628.

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