21st June 2016

Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Set to Host Open Day

The Watson family, winners of the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year, are set to host an open day at Darnford Farm near Banchory on July 21st 2016.

The free event, being supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Harbro, the Salers Cattle Society UK and the British Charolais Cattle Society, will offer interested farmers an opportunity to visit the farm and hear about the family business.

As well as a farm tour, the open day will feature trade stands, stock-judging, a guess the weight competition and a machinery valuation. A charity auction is also planned for the event and will feature many exciting lots, including one of the farm’s in-calf Salers heifers.

The Watsons tenant 800 acres on Dunecht Estates with a further 650 acres farmed via seasonal grass lets and cropping agreements. The family runs 440 Saler-cross cows with 60 of the progeny sold store, 60 to 70 heifers retained for replacements and the remainder finished.

Brothers Adam and David Watson, with support from their wives Aynsley and Lynne, run the farm on a day-to-day basis, with David and Lynne running their own pedigree herd.

The family decided to host the open day after a number of requests from farmers throughout Scotland and further afield.

As well as welcoming visitors onto the farm, they hope the event will be a good opportunity to raise money for their chosen charities, SAMH (The Scottish Association for Mental Health) and RSABI to assist them in their work to both raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health and to help those affected by poor mental health in rural areas.

“We are looking forward to welcoming people onto the farm for what promises to be an informative and fun day. However, we are also keen that the event helps to raise awareness of mental health issues,” said Peter Watson, who supports his sons with the running of the farm business.

“Sadly, we are well aware of the consequences which severe mental illness can have on a farming family and the difficulties faced by those left behind.

“We hope that by being open and frank, we can encourage people to speak confidently and share their experiences of mental illness and, by talking, help to break down the stigma that surrounds this illness. Knowing where to find support and help is crucial which is why the work of the two charities we are supporting is so valuable.”

The event starts at 1.00pm with tea/coffee from 1.30 pm before the welcome and start at 2.00pm. It is free to attend but attendees must pre-register by 15th July – either by phoning Harbro customer services on 01888 545200 or by e-mailing farming@harbro.co.uk providing a name, address and a contact number for each person attending.

Sign up for the latest news and views