Miss Scotland, Ellie McKeating, entered into the ringside spirit at Dalmally Mart on Saturday (September 13th) when she joined in the bidding at the United Auctions’ sale.
Miss McKeating who is getting to know Scotland’s livestock sector better in her role as an ambassador for Scotch Lamb with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), created quite a stir at United Auctions’ biggest Annual Show and Sale of Blackface Lambs in recent years.
Clearly enjoying the buzzing atmosphere of a packed ringside at the sale, which had an entry of some 8000 lambs and feeding sheep, Miss Scotland successfully bid (on behalf on an undisclosed buyer) for a cheviot cross lamb from seller Stuart Neish of Barachander Farm, near Loch Awe.
The visit to one of Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers’ facility was part of Miss McKeating’s induction to the market system. It follows a number of engagements in recent weeks, including joining farmers across Scotland at sampling events during the recent “Love Scotch Lamb Weekend”, organised by QMS, NFU Scotland and the National Sheep Association.
And as she toured the bustling Dalmally market, Miss McKeating spoke with UA customers from Crieff, Crianlarich and Oban about their stock and was stopped for selfies by a trio of younger Oban farmers who were selling at the bumper event.
Miss McKeating said: "Many thanks to the United Auctions’ team and the farmers I met for making me feel so welcome. Having never been to a livestock auction market before it was great to learn about this traditional system and Dalmally Mart’s importance to livestock producers and the rural community in such a big area. On thing which came through very strongly was the pride the farmers and auctioneers take in the quality of the livestock and stockmanship skills in this part of Scotland.”
She went on to present the James Weir Memorial Trophy for the championship pen of Blackface Lambs to three generations of the Buchanan family of Achnaba Farm, Oban, including Archie Buchanan, his daughter Morag MacCorquodale and her son Donnie.
The Buchanans also achieved the top price of £62.50 for their championship pen bought by Judge Bill Cameron from Keith in Aberdeen.
Miss Scotland also enjoyed a Scotch Lamb burger, courtesy of the marts’ café, at the end of her visit.
Peter Wood, UA’s auctioneer for the west of Scotland, said: “We were delighted to welcome Ellie to Dalmally. She brought an extra buzz to the place and made a very good sale in which sellers were up on the year even better.”