Are You Positive About Sheep?

The main lamb sale season is in full swing throughout Scotland and tupping time, when the foundations are laid for next year’s crop, is just around the corner

With thoughts very much focussed on how sheep flocks up and down the country have performed in the past twelve months, now is the ideal time to celebrate achievements, new ideas, hard work and top-class output.

The Directors of AgriScot, established the Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year award aiming to recognise and reward farms and farmers who are positive examples for the wider sector.

High profile sheep farmer and AgriScot board member, Hamish Dykes, explains more:

“For many sheep farmers the few weeks past and ahead are the pinnacle of the year.”

“This is when breeding stock is assessed for future fitness, prime and store stock sales reach their peak and the big breeding sales take place.”

“With such a focus on sheep, their output, achievements and future policies, now is the ideal time for farmers to put their farm forward for our Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year award. The process is very simple, just drop us an email to the AgriScot office and we will send out the very straightforward entry form.”

The AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year award is sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors and part of a programme of AgriScot awards. The Scotch Beef Farm of the Year awards are also open for entries at present and the top 20 farms in the running for the Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year title were recently announced.

In 2015, the inaugural year for the Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year Award, Armadale in Sutherland, farmed by Joyce Campbell, was judged the ultimate winner.

Announcing the winner, Richard Blake who represented Thorntons Solicitors on the 3 person judging panel, stated:

“Choosing the 2015 winner was a really tough job. All four finalists were worthy contenders, and we thoroughly enjoyed visiting each one. However, in the end it was Armadale that excelled in almost every category on the scoresheet and deserved to be crowned winner.”

“I look forward to this year and hope that we can have such quality entries and finalists again for the 2016 award.”

Echoing the ethos of a well-known Scots proverb, Hamish Dykes encouraged any sheep farmer to enter:

“There is a renowned annual crop and grassland competition in the Scottish Borders whose moto is ‘it’s not what ye hae, it’s what ye dae wi’ what ye hae’.”

“This is exactly what the judges are looking for in entries for our Sheep Farm award. It’s not about showing a trophy cabinet full of silverware, or an outstanding pen of lambs or spreadsheet of gross margins – although these things can play a part – it is more about showing how you have worked with the hand you have been dealt, and gone on to achieve the best possible results.”

Entering the Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year award could not be easier. Simply email enquiries@agriscot.co.uk to receive an entry form – a sneak preview of the form is pictured opposite.

For details of the AgriScot QMS Scotch Beef Farm of the Year please email info@qmscotland.co.uk

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