The Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award is now approaching entry deadline and farmers and those in rural industry are being encouraged to enter or nominate beef producers who are showcasing and developing best practice. The deadline for applications and nominations is Thursday 24th July.
The overall 2014/15 winner of the competition, run by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), will receive a fabulous cash prize and the now well-established title of Scotch Beef Farm of the Year. Applications are sought from others working in the industry who can nominate a farm, or farms, they feel merits the award, as well as from farmers or family members themselves.
The award will be presented at AgriScot at Ingliston on Wednesday 19th November.
Last year’s winners were Alistair Foubister and his wife Anne, from Netherton Farm, Holm, Orkney. Netherton is a 340 acre farm which runs 120 suckler cows which are mainly Aberdeen Angus cross. The Foubisters have been steadily increasing the number of cattle they sell each year, from 79 in 2009 to 106 in 2012, and prior to their win in 2013, the Foubisters invested in new cattle housing in order to improve farm efficiency.
Andrew Moir, AgriScot chairman, said:
"Once again, entries are being sought from, or on behalf of, farmers who are able to showcase excellence as well as play an important part in building confidence in the future for all those working in the Scottish red meat industry.
“The Scottish agricultural industry has a very strong and growing reputation and together, AgriScot and QMS are keen to cement that reputation. Many producers out there deserve recognition, despite their modesty, and we encourage people to nominate worthy farms."
Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland added:
"This is the third year we have supported the award which is now firmly established as a fantastic platform to champion the excellent stock management skills in our industry. Importantly, it also helps to raise the profile of the commitment and passion of the cattle farmers in Scotland who work hard to produce top-quality Scotch beef.”
Alistair Foubister, last year’s winner, looked back on his win:
"The win was a fantastic reward not just for me but also my family who have worked so hard in challenging conditions. I also truly believe that our community and Orkney as a whole will benefit from the increase in profile of our beef industry. The response from fellow farmers has certainly been nothing but positive.
“Prior to winning the award I always produced cattle to the very best of my ability but now I definitely think more about the marketing of the Scotch Beef PGI brand and about how important it is that we think carefully about how we get people to buy our product.
“I encourage people to enter the competition and wish this year’s applicants the very best of luck.”
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.
To register interest and receive further information and an application form please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call QMS on 0131 472 4122. To be eligible the farm must be a member of the QMS Farm Assurance Scheme - full details of eligibility available on application. THE DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS AND APPLICATIONS IS 24 JULY 2014.