AgriS­cot on the hunt for the coun­try’ s best farms

Chance for beef and sheep farm­ers to have their ef­forts recog­nised

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FARMING - BY GEMMA MACKENZIE

The hunt is on to find the best beef and sheep farms in Scot­land.

Nom­i­na­tions are now open for the AgriS­cot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year and AgriS­cot Scot­tish Sheep Farm of the Year awards.

The awards, which are spon­sored by Thorn­tons So­lic­i­tors and sup­ported by Qual­ity Meat Scot­land, set out to find and re­ward Scot­tish farms which ex­em­plify the best in beef cat­tle and sheep pro­duc­tion.

Farm­ers and mem­bers of the ru­ral com­mu­nity are be­ing asked to nom­i­nate farms they feel are wor­thy of re­ceiv­ing the awards this year.

The win­ners will be un­veiled at the AgriS­cot event on Novem­ber 21.

Each win­ner will re­ceive a £500 cheque and a £250 voucher to spend in a Scotch Beef Club – a club of restau­rants serv­ing top-qual­ity Scotch beef.

Last year, the sheep farm award was pre­sented to Charley and An­drea Walker of Barn­side Farm, near Duns. The cou­ple op­er­ate a low-in­put, grass-fed, or­ganic farm­ing sys­tem on the 600-acre unit which car­ries 840 Easy Care ewes and 220 hoggs.

Mr Walker said: “Get­ting the award was an un­ex­pected sur­prise.

“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.”

Last year’s beef award win­ner went to Robert Flem­ing who runs Cas­tle Sin­ni­ness Farm near

Glen­luce in Wig­town­shire.

Mr Flem­ing, who farms in part­ner­ship with his par­ents John and Rachael, runs a low-in­put grass and for­age-based pad­dock graz­ing sys­tem for the main herd of 220 AberdeenAn­gus and An­gus cross suck­ler cows and a fur­ther 600 grow­ing cat­tle un­der con­tract.

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

“I would def­i­nitely en­cour­age oth­ers to ap­ply for the award.”

AgriS­cot chair­man Robert Neill urged farm­ers to ei­ther ap­ply them­selves or nom­i­nate some­one else for the awards.

To nom­i­nate a farm for ei­ther award, email the de­tails of the farms to info@qm­scot­

Ap­pli­ca­tion forms are also avail­able to down­load at www.qm­scot­

“I would def­i­nitely en­cour­age oth­ers to ap­ply for the award”

AWARD SUC­CESS: Robert Flem­ing of Cas­tle Sin­ni­ness Farm scooped the Scotch beef ac­co­lade last year

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