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Please find below the latest news relating to AgriScot 2014.

 

 

 

AgriScot Press Releases

 

+ One Man, 3 Breeds; The Best of the Best

The job of sorting the best of the best in the dairy cattle world will fall on the shoulders of one man later this month, when Edward Griffiths steps into the HSBC show ring to judge at AgriScot.

Mr Griffiths, who is highly respected in pedigree dairy circles having judged previously at shows including the European Dairy Event, NISA All Ireland Dairy Cow Championship, Royal Welsh Show, will judge classes across all 3 dairy breeds at the event on Wednesday 19th November.

AgriScot Chairman Andrew Moir commented on the appointment of Mr Griffiths:

“Edward Griffiths is an ideal candidate for the job, being extremely knowledgeable in the breeding and showing of the three dairy breeds, Holsteins, Jerseys and Ayrshires.

He has certainly proven this knowledge at a number of other prestigious shows of dairy cattle and we are delighted that he has agreed to judge at AgriScot.”

At home on his family farm at Gunthwaite Hall Farm near Sheffield in South Yorkshire, Mr Griffiths milks pedigree Jersey and Ayrshire cows alongside 150 Holsteins.

The 3 pedigree herds are each run under the Coachgate prefix by Mr Griffiths who is a member of the respective breed societies.

Mr Griffiths, stated:

“I am looking forward to judging north of the Border again. AgriScot has a great reputation throughout the dairy industry for the quality of cattle on show and for the buzzing trade atmosphere.

I’m sure it will be a challenging task, but I really look forward to selecting the AgriScot 2014 Interbreed Champion.”

+ Future Direction of the Dairy Sector

The future direction of the Scottish dairy sector will be debated at next month’s AgriScot event, being staged on Wednesday 19 November at Ingliston, near Edinburgh.

With both farmgate prices and dairy commodity values on a severe downturn, this high-level seminar will look at the opportunities and the challenges dairy farmers and processors are facing – both now and in the future.

Given the ongoing volatility in dairy prices, the debate will look at the importance of the recommendations contained within the Scottish Dairy Review entitled ‘Ambition 2025’, commissioned by Scottish Government and completed in 2013.

The report’s author and Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink, James Withers will be joined on the platform at AgriScot by Paul Grant, inaugural Chairman of the Scottish Dairy Growth Board and Stuart Martin, manager of the producer-facing Scottish Dairy Hub – a joint venture between Scottish Government and the levy body DairyCo. Mr Withers will explain the context, rational and ongoing relevance of the Review; Mr Grant will discuss efforts to add value to Scottish dairy products and Mr Martin will explain his role in providing assistance to Scottish dairy farmers. The establishment of the dairy growth board and the hub were both recommendations included in the Scottish Dairy Review.

NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee Chairman, Gary Mitchell, who will chair the session said:

“With farmgate and commodity prices crashing from the historic highs of recent times, a seminar that looks at how we build a more robust and successful Scottish dairy sector could not be timelier.

“Since 2007, dairy product values have risen significantly but without Scottish dairy farmers or processors ever fully making the most of the potential offered.

“Now that prices are falling, the negative consequence of a global dairy trade is highly volatile prices and challenging costs for the entire dairy supply chain. Dairy is now highly and irrevocably globalised and small changes in supply and demand have huge impacts on dairy farmers, as well as processors.

“The 2009 crash in dairy prices resulted in European farmer unrest and the EU Dairy Package. In 2012, mass demonstration by dairy farmers across the UK sparked the conclusion of the voluntary Code on milk contracts and, in Scotland, the Cabinet Secretary commissioned the Scottish Dairy Review.

“The work in 2012 galvanised producers, and forced processors, retailers, and politicians to address the concerns of the dairy sector. This seminar, the NFU Scotland dairy farmer survey and our ongoing dialogue with milk processors will help establish what work is needed in 2014 to get the Scottish dairy sector back on track.”

+ Four Fantastic Farms

Aberdeenshire, Stirlingshire and Dumfriesshire are the proud homes of Scotland’s top 4 dairy farms in 2014.

That was the verdict of AgriScot Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year assessor Gregor Colquhoun when he announced the following as the 4 finalist farms for the covetted award (in alphabetical order):

• Darahill, Udny, Aberdeenshire
• Hardgrove, Ruthwell, Dumfriesshire
• Meldrum, Blairdrumond, Stirlingshire
• Potstown, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire

During October Gregor, who is a member of the team from Dendoldrum farm, Inverbervie that has twice previously taken the top award, will visit all four farms to study everything from calf rearing, sire selection, practical management techniques, feeding and nutrition programmes and to view the cows.

Commenting Jack Lawson convenor of the awards said ‘The overall standard of the top twenty this year was extremely high considering the challenges of feed quality last winter and the standards set are a great credit to the Scottish dairy industry. Gregor had a difficult task to select the top four without seeing names or addresses but he selected on calving age, calving index, somatic cell counts, yields and longevity. Each of the top four will be presented with certificates at AgriScot on Wednesday 19th November when the winner of the top award for 2014 will be announced.’

AgriScot chairman Andrew Moir commented ‘Our four finalists are certainly beacons of good practice for all the industry and everyone involved in the top twenty farms deserves congratulations.’

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+ Scotland's Sheep Farms Set to Shine

Scotland’s sheep farms will be given the chance to shine in 2015 when a major new competition is rolled out.

The Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year competition is set to be launched at AgriScot next month, and will open for entries for the first time in spring 2015.

Andrew Moir, AgriScot Chairman, explains the thinking behind the new award: “AgriScot is now, more than ever, about all sectors of agriculture. A significant number of the trade stands and seminars at our event are hugely relevant to sheep farmers and we have been attracting them in increasing numbers year on year.”

“With the ongoing success of our Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year competition and the success in recent years of the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year, we felt that the sheep sector was missing out.”

“Thanks to support from Thorntons Solicitors we have been able to make the idea of a Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year competition a reality.”

“AgriScot has an established history of sectorial and business competitions. Awards are made each year not only to the Dairy and Beef farms of the year but also for farm business skills exhibited by a Scottish student, the best silage crops and the best new product exhibited at AgriScot.”

“The awards are our way of highlighting excellence in the industry and, in turn, helping farmers to pick up ways in which their own businesses might be improved. “We look forward to launching the Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year at AgriScot this year and making the first award of this prestigious new title in 2015.”

Kenneth Mackay, partner in the Land and Rural Business team at Thorntons said: “We are proud to be sponsors of the new Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year award. Agriscot were keen to recognise all elements of the agricultural sector and we are delighted to be able to help them achieve that goal. We are looking forward to receiving lots of entries from across Scotland for the inaugural competition in 2015.”

+ Innovation to be Rewarded at AgriScot

Those involved in agriculture will appreciate that as an industry it never stands still for long and is constantly innovating. Those who attend AgriScot will see first-hand evidence of this each year when the annual New Product Competition recognises and rewards technology and product development.

The hunt is currently on for the New Product of 2014 and entries are encouraged before the closing date of 10th October. This year's judges are Aeron Jenkins, a well known dairy farmer from Ceredigion in Wales, Ian Christie from Aboyne, who was the winner of the very first AgriScot Business Skills Competition, and a representative from AgriScot's media partner The Scottish Farmer.

Meeting emerging or existing demand for products and pushing technological or mechanical boundaries, winners each year always demonstrate ingenuity and uniqueness as well as business potential. Open to any product introduced to the market since AgriScot 2013, the 2014 competition is the ideal chance to build awareness of a product within the toughly fought agricultural market place. The winning product receives £1,000 worth of prizes and gains valuable publicity for their product and company.

Last year's New Product Competition was won by Tanco Autowrap. The Irish company won the award for their highly innovative new I75 Multi Shear which can be used to feed both baled and clamp silage without alteration. Effectively the I75 can be both a shear grab, which leaves a clean silage pit face, and a bale splitter for cutting round bales. The action of the shear also automatically removes plastic and netting.

Adrian Lyons, Sales Manager for Tanco Autowrap commented on his 2013 award:

"As a company, we constantly strive for innovation in our products. That is why the win means so much to us because it directly relates to our innovative goals and uniqueness in the marketplace.

"We are delighted to have won the AgriScot New Product Competition. The I75 Multi Shear was two years in development and it is great to have been recognised for what it brings to the industry. AgriScot was our official UK launch of the I75 and is a great event for us; it is the only show that we come to in Scotland."

Andrew Moir, AgriScot Chairman says:

"Farming will always be driven by the passion and skill of its people but increasingly technology is making itself indispensible. The ideas and ingenuity that we see coming through via the New Product Competition each year is fascinating and, in many cases, time, labour and money saving. I look forward to seeing another winner coming to the fore in November."

+ AgriScot Business Skills Award Seeking Talent

Buoyed by four years of very successful competition which have seen dozens of inspirational and passionate youngsters come to the fore, the AgriScot Business Skills Award, sponsored by Biocell Agri Limited, is once again searching for enthusiastic members of the next generation coming into agriculture.

The competition, the brainchild of a team which included current Chairman of AgriScot Andrew Moir, provides a platform for young people to demonstrate their practical skills and their business acumen and can really help them to develop their careers.

The Award, which is organised by both SRUC and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs and is open to 18 to 25 year olds, sees the youngsters first go through regional heats before the final winner is announced at AgriScot– this year on 19th November.

The winner will take the £1,000 first prize put up by Biocell Agri Limited who supply specialist feed additives for advanced ruminant nutrition and who are keen to support young people coming into the industry.

The cash prize can be an enormous boost to a young person just starting out on their career ladder but many entrants also recognise the associated benefits that winning can bring.

Last year's winner, Joseph Williams from the Isle of Tiree, said: “The whole process of the Business Skills Competition has been so beneficial for me. Obviously I am extremely pleased to have won but even if I hadn’t, I have gained so much. I almost didn’t enter but was encouraged by a lecturer at Ayr and I am so glad that I did. My confidence has really been boosted and my CV has no doubt benefited. I am also very grateful for the contacts that the competition has enabled me to build up. I would strongly recommend people to enter!”

Andrew Moir, AgriScot Chairman, said: "This competition goes from strength to strength and I am genuinely encouraged by our entrants and by watching the continuing careers of all who take part. I would encourage people to enter, not simply for recognition but because a win like this really can provide a valuable stepping stone on an individual's career path”


Chris Stockwell, AgriScot Business Skills Co-ordinator, said: “We aim to make the Business Skills competition challenging but interesting, and above all to make it an enjoyable experience. It offers the participants the opportunity to be involved in a real life, on-farm, interview that will help them develop their confidence and experience which will stand them in good stead for their futures careers”.

Entries for the 2014 Business Skills Competition close on Friday 10th October.

Entrants must submit a CV which should include date of birth and full contact details and a statement of 200 -250 words on the topic: “The importance of determining and monitoring the Unit Cost of Production for a farm enterprise”

Entries should be emailed to: chris.stockwell@sruc.ac.uk

+Major New Sponsor for AgriScot

AgriScot organisers have announced that a major new sponsor has been brought on board ahead of this year’s event.

The prestigious main ring at AgriScot, which plays host to the show of Britain’s top dairy cows, is to be sponsored by HSBC Bank.

Andrew Moir, AgriScot Chairman, commented:
“AgriScot is known as the farm business event and is visited by agri-professionals from all over UK and abroad. We are delighted to work with HSBC Bank, a multi-national financial institution with dedicated agricultural teams. Having HSBC on board as sponsor of our show ring is a positive development for both organisations and one that will be welcomed by our industry audience. We look forward to providing HSBC with a platform to showcase their services to key agricultural decision makers."

Neil Wilson, Scottish Regional Agriculture Manager for HSBC stated:
“HSBC is proud to sponsor the main ring at AgriScot, a key business event in the farming calendar. Supporting the agriculture sector is a key aim for HSBC and we have an experienced and growing team of specialist agriculture managers focussed on the needs of our farming clients.

"AgriScot provides a great opportunity for the agriculture industry to meet, connect and share best practice. Our approach to farm businesses is to work in partnership with them and we look forward to meeting with customers and non-customers alike over the course of the day."

AgriScot, which for 2014 is expanding to accommodate more exhibitors, takes place at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, Edinburgh on Wednesday 19th November.

+AgriScot To Welcome More of the Best In Business

AgriScot, which takes place on Wednesday 19 November 2014 at The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, is this year welcoming even more exhibitors from the agribusiness world, guaranteeing visitors the chance to do business with the very best.

THE Farm Business Event will see a number of exhibitors who are brand new to the event, welcoming for the first time Honda, Amazone, JC Machinery and Thorntons LLP, among others.

AgriScot will also be welcoming companies such as BOCM, Davidsons Animal Feeds, Genus, MJ Harrison Supplies, Semex, and many more who have supported the event since its inception and whose loyalty not only demonstrates the value of exhibiting at AgriScot but also their support for the industry.

John MacInnes, AgriScot Trade Stand Manager, says of the exhibition stands:

"For AgriScot 2014 we have introduced another 950 square metres of space in the form of the Upland Hall which has allowed us to increase our number of exhibitors. We are once again very encouraged by the response and look forward to welcoming exhibitors, both old and new, to the larger AgriScot.

"We know from our visitor exit surveys, that the calibre of exhibitors is an influential factor in their attendance and so we expect once again to welcome a large number of farmers and farm business professionals in November. I can't emphasise enough how a trip to Edinburgh for AgriScot can really pay off in terms of business benefit.

"It's worth businesses noting that despite the extra space for 2014, we still have a waiting list in operation which is fast approaching 50 companies, so those interested in exhibiting in 2015 should get in touch with us soon!"

+New Young Farmers Class and £4000 Prize for Top Silages

The search is on for Scotland’s best 2014 silage crops, big bale and pitted, and £4000 worth of prizes is at stake.

With a new class for this year, open to young farmers under the age of 26, organisers of the AgriScot silage competition are now seeking silage analysis reports for stage 1 of the competition.

Andrew Best of competition sponsors, Watson Seeds, explains: “Round 1 of the competition is a comparison of silage analysis reports. From the reports received, our Judge, Hugh McClymont, Farm Manager at SRUC Crichton Royal Farms will select the top 5 analysis in each class which he will then go on to judge as fresh samples.”

“2014 has certainly been a vintage year for silage making in terms of bumper crops. I have heard of pits full to bursting and bale stacks much bigger than they have been for quite a few years. The flip-side of such a bumper harvest is that initial reports suggest that quality may be variable. However, far be it for me to pre-empt the competition entries, I bet there are some fantastic analysis reports out there.”

“This year we were keen to encourage entries from younger farmers as well as their more established colleagues. We know that farmers of all ages take a pride in what they produce and hope that recognition for quality silage in this competition could give a young farmer a real boost, as well as a valuable prize.”

Andrew Best is looking for silage analysis reports to be emailed to him by 10th of October. The emails should be labelled with type of silage ie 1st cut pit, baled from any cut, or class 3, which is for young farmers (under 26 years old on 19th November) 1st or 2nd cut clamp silage. Emails should also include trading name, contact name and phone numbers although the initial reports will be judged anonymously.

Commenting on the success of the Silage Competition, AgriScot Chairman Andrew Moir stated: “The silage competition at AgriScot has grown into a great success over the years. I am particularly keen on it as the results provide a benchmark for livestock producers visiting AgriScot which they can compare with their own performance and discuss with the plethora of advisors and nutritionists at the event.”

“The prizes put up by our sponsors, Watson Seeds, should provide significant encouragement for farmers to enter the competition, I am sure any beef, sheep or dairy farmer would welcome a prize of 10 acres of quality grass seed.”

+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