NFU Scotland has received the very sad news that former long serving Stewartry secretary Mickey Coutts has passed away.
Mickey was well-known to many within the organisation having been in the Castle Douglas office for 36 years prior to his retiral two years ago. Mickey started with NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual in 1985, assisting his father for six years. He fully took over the running of the office on his father’s retirement in 1991, going on to provide exceptional service to Stewartry members.
In 2007, Mickey was the inaugural winner of the Union’s prestigious Miskelly award, presented at the NFUS AGM in Dunblane that year. It is an award which recognises outstanding service to Scottish farming communities and the Union.
Mickey’s dedication and commitment were instrumental in helping those struck, or severely restricted by FMD in 2001, going on to assist many members to get through BSE, salmonella in eggs and the Stranraer port protests, all the while ensuring the Union’s activities reflected members’ interests and that its reputation was held up.
Mickey’s funeral will take place on Wednesday 1 March in Castle Douglas Parish Church, Queen Street at 11.00am.
In paying tribute to Mickey, former NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “I got to know Mickey through my involvement with NFU Scotland. To me Mickey was a brilliant mentor, he had basically seen it all over the years and developed a clear sense of what was right.
“He dealt with the beef crisis, milk crisis, foot and mouth, BSE, storms, floods, and people’s personal challenges. Through all this and more, the members could turn to Mickey and know they would get a down to earth and knowledgeable opinion.
“He was, quite rightly, the first ever recipient of the Miskelly Award from NFU Scotland recognising the outstanding work he was doing for the membership.
“There was no doubt that if he thought I was being an idiot he would tell me and do it in a way that didn’t make me feel like an idiot. I don’t believe that this service was exclusive to me!
“He was a gifted communicator built on his extensive experience across many walks of life. Many members will be able to relate their own stories of how Mickey was there for them and not just in his business role.
“He was a man of many parts including a Special Constable, Pipe Band member and Charity Trustee. In all these things, he was there for the community and was helping others quietly and modestly.
“He had a wicked sense of humour and was good company in any social setting yet was a no nonsense highly respected businessman at the same time.
“Mickey will be sorely missed but very fondly remembered by all those fortunate enough to have crossed paths with him.”