23rd July 2013

Scotch Beef Farm of the Year 2013 Open for Nominations

Following the success of the inaugural Scotch Beef Farm of the Year initiative which was launched in 2012 by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland, the hunt for a 2013 winner has commenced this week.

Beef producers in Scotland are being encouraged to come forward to win a fabulous cash prize and the now well known title of Scotch Beef Farm of the Year. Applications are also sought from others working in the industry who can nominate a farm, or farms, they feel merits the award.

Last year’s winners, Robert and Jacqueline Neill from Upper Nisbet, near Jedburgh, presented judges with an excellent showcase in the production of cattle in Scotland, demonstrating dedication and stock management skills. Once again, a winner is being sought who is able to showcase excellence as well as serve to build confidence in the future for all those working in the Scottish Red Meat industry.

AgriScot and QMS work closely together to deliver the award in which the winner receives a £500 cheque plus a £250 voucher to celebrate their accolade at a Scotch Beef Club restaurant – the club run by QMS which has around 300 members committed to serving top quality Scotch Beef.  The award will be presented at AgriScot to be held at Ingliston on Wednesday 20th November. AgriScot routinely attracts more than 9000 attendees made up of individuals and business from with agriculture and associated professions.

Andrew Moir, AgriScot chairman, highlighted the importance of the Award:

“There are a huge number of individuals out there who are truly dedicated both to the production of cattle and to the Scotch Beef brand.  AgriScot, as THE farm business event, is equally dedicated to offering the agricultural industry an opportunity to grow and develop in order to build Scotland’s place and reputation within all areas of agriculture. We are therefore proud to work with QMS on the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year 2013 in order to seek out the very best within the beef sector.”

Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland added:

“This initiative, delivered in partnership with AgriScot, is a fantastic opportunity to champion excellence in the Scottish red meat industry and recognise the commitment and passion producers have in supplying top quality Scotch Beef.

“Entries are welcome from producers with different types of beef enterprises across Scotland who can demonstrate enthusiasm and focus in providing efficient, profitable production of Scotch Beef eligible cattle coupled with excellent stock management skills.”

Robert and Jacqueline Neill, last year’s winners, look back on their win:

“AgriScot is the premier business event in Scotland and of course the QMS Scotch Beef brand has a worldwide reputation and so winning the inaugural Scotch Beef Farm of the Year last year was a real highlight for us. But aside from any prestige, it was fantastic to be rewarded for our passion and commitment to our animals, our business and ultimately, supplying a market which is looking for quality Scotch Beef.

“We would encourage entrants to come forward for this award in order to get the recognition they deserve as individuals and businesses but also to help give our industry an even more solid future.”

Assessors representing AgriScot, which is now established as one of the UK’s main farm business events, and QMS will review the applications based on evidence of five main areas.

These are a high standard of technical and financial performance, uptake of new ideas to improve efficiency/profitability, a high level of health and welfare, a keen eye on the market for the end product and a clear passion for producing high quality animals.

All farms producing cattle destined to be used for meat sold under the Scotch Beef label – from breeders through to finishers - are eligible to apply for the new award and accordingly they must also be members of Quality Meat Scotland’s farm assurance scheme.

The applications will initially be assessed on paper to shortlist three finalist farms. A visit will then be made to finalist farms by the panel of three or more QMS and AgriScot assessors.

The closing date for applications is 30th September 2013.  To register your interest and receive further information and an application form please email info@qmscotland.co.uk or call Kirsty McCormack at QMS on 0131 472 4040. To be eligible the farm must be a member of the QMS Farm Assurance Scheme - full details of eligibility available on application.

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