Scottish Diversified Farm of the Year
Scottish Diversified Farm of the Year 2022 Applications Now Open
Newton Farm Announced Scottish Diversified Farm of the Year 2021
A farm which offers visitors the chance to walk alpacas, feed the animals and groom a highland cow has received a new diversification award. Newton Farm, in Angus, was named the inaugural AgriScot Diversified Farm of the Year Award, sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland and supported by SAC Consulting – part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
The award celebrates the achievements of Scottish farming and crofting businesses which have diversified and added value to their primary agricultural activities.
Newton of Fotheringham is a tenanted family farm with livestock and arable enterprises covering 220ha. In response to significant financial challenges, Graeme and Louise Nicoll, expanded the business to include an Agritourism offer running tours and visitor experiences.
They offer a range of seasonal tour activities, with a key focus on engaging visitors with whatever is happening that day on the farm.
On receiving the award Louise said “We are absolutely delighted. We felt we were in great company with the other finalists Carins Farm and Bain Farm dairy. It also means so much to our family to be recognised for all our hard work and we look forward to welcoming all our visitors to the farm this yaer to share in our epic farming life.”
The award assessors noted that Louise’s drive and commitment to the family farming ethos shines through in her approach to the business. She has minimised capital spending by making use of the free resources available to her to drive her business and engage with customers.
They wrote: “We were impressed that not only had they turned around their business finances, but also created an opportunity for their son Scott to consider succession within the family business.
“They have great plans for their collective future and have created a new way of working in the business which not only delivers financially but also creates connections with their local community.”
Sascha Grierson, from SAC Consulting, said: “Diversification and agritourism are becoming ever more important in Scottish agriculture and Graeme and Louise are excellent ambassadors, showing what can be achieved with innovative thinking and a practical approach. They have created a memorable opportunity to find out what daily life is like on a Scottish farm.”
Roddy McLean, Director of Agriculture at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “It was inspiring to see how resources on the farm have been harnessed to deliver unique visitor experiences. Congratulations to Newton Farm and we wish them continued success for the future.”
Ian Brydson, AgriScot Board member and one of the judges, said: “The standard of applicants was very high and made assessing the farms a real challenge. Each finalist has diversified to an extremely high standard and been totally committed to what they are trying to achieve.
“The resilience and creativity shown by these award recipients demonstrates what is possible and Louise is a worthy ambassador and role model for family faming businesses in Scotland.”