Husband and wife, Henry and Emily Duncan, from Whitehall Farm in Nith Valley, Dumfries, made it onto the shortlist of this year’s prestigious M&S ‘Farming for the Future’ awards.  Although they didn’t take first place on the  day of the  awards ceremony held at  the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on Thursday, 23rd June 2016 they did take the Runner up position with a very honorable ‘Highly Commended’ Award.


Henry and Emily were nominated for the Outstanding Producer award for their efforts in producing high quality Aberdeen Angus beef for M&S, through Scotbeef.


The Duncan’s manage around 200 Aberdeen Angus suckler cows as part of their 1,200 acre farm which has been home to the Duncan family for more than 100 years and has been producing beef for M&S for the past 16 years.


Henry and Emily impressed the judges with their commitment to self-sufficiency, buying only small amounts of concentrate feed during the winter months to complement their home-produced silage. They are also working to minimise their impact on the environment, and have limited their use of artificial fertilisers as well as carrying out tree-planting projects.


The judges were also impressed by the consistent production of high-quality cattle at the farm.  To achieve this, the Duncans work hard to minimise the risk of disease in their cattle and produce plenty of good quality grazing for their livestock. The husband and wife team also work closely with the farm’s vet to ensure that the use of medicines are kept to a minimum.


M&S Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation. The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term.


Steve Mclean, M&S Head of Agriculture & Fisheries, said: “We are continually impressed with the commitment and passion our suppliers show towards sustainable farming practices and with such strong talent emerging within the industry, the judging process for our Farming for the Future Awards becomes more challenging every year.


“In what is my ninth year of presenting the M&S awards, I’m looking forward to once again honouring some of our top suppliers at the Royal Highland Show later this month.”