With only one month to go until nominations close for the AgriScot Sheep and Beef Farm of the Year awards, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched two new videos to encourage farmers to get behind the award.
The AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year and AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year awards, sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors and supported by QMS, set out to find and reward Scottish farms which exemplify the best in beef cattle and sheep production.
2018 AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year recipients Neil and Debbie McGowan (Debbie grew up on her family farm near Rhonehouyse in Dumfries and Galloway) run Incheoch, near Alyth, in partnership with Neil’s mother Judy, father Finlay and sister Clare. Incheoch is a 485ha upland farm where the McGowan’s run 1,100 Lleyn ewes on a low-cost sheep system in terms of capital and labour, along with a suckler cow herd.
“We love what we’re doing. We love working with sheep” said Neil McGowan. “What we’ve tried to do with our sheep enterprise is a little bit different and the AgriScot award is nice recognition for the team that’s helped us get there.”
These sentiments were echoed by 2018 AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year recipient Niall Jeffrey, who runs two spring calving herds over three farm units in partnership with his father Angus.
“To be nominated for the AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year was such a great honour but to go on and win made me so proud of our whole team and what we’ve achieved,” explained Niall. “It allows you to step back from the day-to-day running of your farm and think differently about your business. And for me personally, it’s allowed me to do more in the wider industry – and I’ve really enjoyed that.”
Both winners are featured within two new videos, showcasing what winning the awards has meant for them, and encouraging others to get involved.
As the deadline for submitting entries draws closer, the organisers of the awards are encouraging people right across the industry to put up others they believe are doing a fantastic job for the industry.
These awards help champion the dedication and passion of 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 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. The awards will be presented at AgriScot at Ingliston on Wednesday 20 November.
Entries are welcome from all different livestock enterprises across Scotland who can demonstrate excellent stock management skill coupled with enthusiasm and focus in providing efficient, profitable production of Scotch Beef and Lamb.
Farmers can either apply themselves, or nominate, in confidence, other beef or sheep producers they feel are deserving of the title ‘AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year’ or ‘AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year’.
Those who supply services or products to the industry, from vets to feed manufacturers, as well as the others involved in the production chain such as processors, hauliers and auction markets are also encouraged to nominate livestock farms which are examples of excellence in the industry.
The videos can be viewed on QMS’s Facebook page. To nominate a farm for either award, email the details of the sheep and beef farms which you feel are doing a great job producing Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submitting nominations is 14 October.