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Please find below the latest news relating to AgriScot 2014.

 

 

 

AgriScot Press Releases

 

+Top Twenty Scottish Dairy Farms of the Year Revealed

The eagerly awaited 2014 list of the top 20 dairy farms in Scotland was revealed this week.
Selected from officially recorded figures which indicate efficiency and good animal welfare, including milk yield, age at first calving, calving index, somatic cell count, and longevity within the herd, the top 20 farms represent the best in their respective cow breeds.

New 2014 independent assessor of the Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year awards, Gregor Colquhoun, picked his top 20 farms out from an anonymous list of performance data from all of the recorded dairy farms in Scotland.



Gregor commented “This was a hugely difficult task as all the performance figures presented were of a very high standard indicating excellent cow management and animal welfare.”

Gregor and the Colquhoun family from Dendoldrum, Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire have previously won the Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year title on two separate occasions, including 2013. Recognising this unprecedented achievement, SDFotY organisers - the directors of AgriScot - invited Gregor to officiate for the first time this year, taking over from previous assessor Hugh McClymont.

With the top 20 list revealed, the quest for the overall winner now hots-up and a shortlist of the 4 highest performing farms will be contacted to arrange a visit from Gregor in October. Ultimately, the Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year title, sponsored by Cogent Breeding Ltd, will be awarded at AgriScot on Wednesday 19th November.

Gregor continued, “The figures from the top 20 farms are so impressive, my hardest task was narrowing down from 20 to a top 4 before even seeing names or addresses.”

“Each of the top 20 farms are a credit to all concerned and a great credit to Scottish dairy farming.”

The top 20 Scottish Dairy Farms of 2014 are (in alphabetical order):

Name

Address

Breed

Cows

Alderston Farming

East Lothian

Jerseys

317

R & L Barron

Aberdeenshire

Holsteins

269

J & H Clark

Lanarkshire

Holsteins

117

M/S M & J G Dunlop

Kirkcudbright

Holsteins

496

Robert C Gemmell

Dumfries

Holsteins

315

Wm. Hamilton & Son

Stirling

Holsteins

643

Hardgrove Farm Dumfries Ltd

Dumfriesshire

Holsteins

370

Firm of Andrew Harvey

Dumfriesshire

Holsteins

290

Mr B Jack

Fife

Holsteins

324

Merse Farming Partnership

Berwickshire

Holsteins

215

K & I Millar & Sons

Dumfriesshire

Holsteins

194

Muirside Farms

Dumfriesshire

Ayr/Hols

223

A Nelson

Dumfriesshire

Holsteins

168

T & C Owen

Dumfriesshire

Holsteins

127

Slagnaw Farming Ltd.

Kirkcudbright

Holsteins

580

Firm of J B Sloan

Dumfriesshire

Holsteins

187

M/S G & G Templeton

Ayrshire

Ayrshires

272

T & AW Wadsworth

Wigtonshire

Holsteins

314

Brian G Yates

Kirkcudbright

Holsteins

259

M/S T C Yuill & Son

Lanarkshire

Holsteins

235

+Signs of Confidence in the Dairy Sector as 2014 Dairy Farm Awards are Launched

The formation of 8 new herds in the first 6 months of 2014 means that the total number of dairy cow herds in Scotland is now, once again, over 1000.

This statistic, and the underlying confidence it implies, was highlighted by the organisers of Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year (SDFOTY) as they launched the 2014 awards.

Jack Lawson, convenor of SDOFTY, which is organised by AgriScot and sponsored by Cogent Breeding Ltd commented:

“The Scottish dairy farming sector has been through tough times. We hope that the increase in herd and cow numbers in the first half of 2014 means that some confidence is now returning to the sector.”

“It is also encouraging to note that well over 70% of Scotland’s dairy farms are now officially milk recorded.”

“The recorded figures form the basis for the first selection of farms eligible for the Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year awards. Our computer program has now begun to analyse the official figures to pull out the top 120 farms in terms of management, animal welfare and profitability performance.”

“We have a new independent assessor for SDFOTY 2014, Gregor Colquhoun who with his family has won the top award in two separate years, and it will be his job to pick the top 20 farms from the computer generated list. This selection is always done without knowledge of names or addresses attached to the figures.”

“Since we started running SDFOTY, Scottish performance recorded figures in the important areas such as age at first calving, calving index, milk quality, somatic cell counts and herd longevity have improved faster than anywhere else in the UK. We are extremely encouraged by this and believe that it shows the benefits of recording, highlighting and rewarding best practice.”

The finalists in the Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year award will be announced in October with the SDFOTY title presented to the winner at AgriScot on Wednesday 19th November.

+Scotch Beef Farm of the Year 2014/15 - Nominate Now

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 info@qmscotland.co.uk 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.

+Time to Nominate for the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year 2014/15

The Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award is now entering its third year and the search is on for beef producers who are showcasing and developing best practice as well as playing an exemplary role in Scottish beef farming.

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 also sought from others working in the industry who can nominate a farm, or farms, they feel merits the award.

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.

Once again, entries are being sought from farmers who are able to showcase excellence as well as playing an important part in building confidence in the future for all those working in the Scottish red meat industry.

AgriScot and QMS work closely together to deliver the award which will see the winner receiving 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 at Ingliston on Wednesday 19th November. AgriScot 2013 attracted more than 11000 attendees, made up of individuals and business from with agriculture and associated professions.

Andrew Moir, AgriScot chairman, spoke of the significance of the award:

“Over the last couple of years we have rewarded producers who are truly dedicated both to the production of cattle and to the Scotch Beef brand, something which AgriScot, as THE farm business event, is equally dedicated to demonstrating and supporting. The Scottish agricultural industry has a very strong and growing reputation and together, AgriScot and QMS are keen to cement that reputation."

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:

“At first I was so taken aback to have won the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Award, and knowing the standard of the other applicants, a little embarrassed because they were all such worthy winners.

“However, a year on, I now feel very proud. 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.

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 QMS and AgriScot assessors.

To register your interest and receive further information and an application form please email info@qmscotland.co.uk 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.

Further information on the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Award 2014 is available on the QMS and AgriScot websites – visit www.qmscotland.co.uk and www.agriscot.co.uk

For further press information, please contact Carol McLaren, QMS Head of Communications, on 0131 472 4112 or mobile: 07739 900653 email: cmclaren@qmscotland.co.uk www.qmscotland.co.uk

+New Growth For AgriScot 2014

AgriScot 2014 is set to welcome a number of new exhibitors when it opens its doors on Wednesday 19 November, as the team announces an expansion of the site to include a new 'Upland Hall'.

AgriScot is regarded as one of the premier events in UK agriculture and welcomes those from all sectors of the industry to a day full of both commercial and technical advice.

The 2013 event saw record numbers of visitors, with around 11,500 people travelling to Ingliston. In order to allow scope for continued growth, the AgriScot team, working alongside the RHASS, have secured the use of an additional building and the expansion of exhibition space. The newly christened Upland Hall, which cannot accommodate livestock, will be used to provide space to exhibitors, many of whom have been on a waiting list for several years.

Existing exhibitors, and a number of those on the waiting list, can expect to receive their exhibitor packs electronically over the next few days.

Andrew Moir, AgriScot Chairman, said:

"For a number of years now we had a long standing promise with those on our exhibitor waiting list that if more space was ever available, we would offer it to them first. We are delighted that this is now the case and that AgriScot is in a position to bring a number of new businesses to the fold.

"In recent years AgriScot has marked its place in the calendar as a true farm business event. Providing space for more agri-business exhibitors will further increase the appeal of AgriScot to our core audience of farmers and agri-professionals.

"I would go on to encourage exhibitors to get in touch with us to tell us of their plans for AgriScot 2014 so that we can work with them on their PR and ensure that visitors are kept informed on what they can expect to see when they come along in November.

"AgriScot is the place to be if you are in the business of farming and the AgriScot team looks forward to seeing both exhibitors and visitors on Wednesday 19 November 2014."

Full details are available on www.agriscot.co.uk. Don't forget to engage with AgriScot on Twitter@AgriScot

+AgriScot Statement March 2014

“Over recent weeks, discussions have been ongoing between AgriScot and the Scottish National Fat Stock Club regarding the inclusion of the Club’s livestock classes at AgriScot.

Considerable time has been spent looking at various options and these were discussed in detail at today’s AgriScot Board meeting.

The Directors unanimously but reluctantly concluded that lack of space and logistical problems within the facilities meant that both events are not able to be accommodated within the same venue.

AgriScot wishes the Scottish National Fat Stock Club every success for their future operations.”

Andrew Moir
AgriScot Chairman