6th November 2015

Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Finalists Share Dedication and Commitment

Three top beef cattle businesses have been unveiled as the finalists of the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Award, run by Quality Meat Scotland and AgriScot.The finalist farms, from Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and Angus, were selected from a very strong line-up of entries this year. While they represent three very different types of beef systems the trio of farming families share 100% dedication to producing first class, quality assured cattle.

The finalists are: Wester Coilechat, Callander, Perthshire, run by the Malcolm family; Darnford Farm, near Banchory, Aberdeenshire, run by the Watson family; Prettycur Farm, Montrose, Angus, run by the Sanger family.

The finalist farmers are also committed to seeking opportunities to improve productivity and efficiency with a very clear focus on the health and welfare of their cattle. They also impressed the award assessors, who visited the farms this week, with their efforts to strengthen their businesses by adopting new ideas and initiatives.

The aim of the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Award is to showcase excellence in the production of cattle in Scotland and raise the profile of the dedication and stock management skills behind the production of Scotch Beef PGI.

AgriScot and QMS work together to deliver the award which will see the winner receive a £500 cheque and a £250 voucher to celebrate their success at a Scotch Beef Club restaurant. The club, run by QMS, has around 300 members committed to serving top quality Scotch Beef. 

The overall winner will be revealed at AgriScot on November 18th at Ingliston which last year attracted more than 11,000 attendees.

Robert Neill, former Scotch Beef Farm of the Year winner and AgriScot board member, and Douglas Bell, QMS Head of Industry Development, visited the three finalist farms earlier this week to evaluate them.Douglas Bell, QMS Head of Industry Development, said they had been extremely impressed with the stockmanship skills and passion shown by the families running all three short-listed businesses.

“It was a privilege for us to be invited onto the three farms to get a real understanding of their businesses and their aspirations for the future. All three of the finalists would make worthy winners as they are excellent ambassadors for our industry and Scotch Beef.”

Robert Neill said the families running the three farms share first class commercial skills and a progressive forward-thinking approach.

“It is important that AgriScot showcases the best in Scottish beef production and we are delighted that we have the opportunity to recognise these finalists. All three farms are very different but share strong commercial skills and a forward-thinking approach,” said Mr Neill.

During this week’s visit to the three farms the assessors were looking for evidence of a high standard of technical and financial performance, uptake of new ideas to improve efficiency/profitability, a high level of health and welfare and a keen eye on the market for the end product. The assessors were also looking to gauge the passion and enthusiasm of the farmer, and family and staff where relevant, to efficiently produce high quality animals.All farms producing cattle destined to be used for meat sold under the Scotch Beef label – from breeders through to finishers - were eligible to apply for the award and accordingly they were also required to be members of QMS’s farm assurance scheme.


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