The NFU Scotland Young Achiever Award, which is sponsored by the Royal Bank
of Scotland, was established six years ago. The Award aims to encourage, recognise
and reward those who excel in the Scottish farming industry. Applicants must
be under 35 years of age.
Modern farming is constantly evolving and having to adapt to
more and more technology and scientific advances. In addition,
the average age of Scottish farmers is in the high fifties and
so attention is now turning to the younger generation who will
be the farmers of the future. Pressure is being placed on educational
establishments and on Government to encourage young farmers as
much as possible and the NFU Scotland/Royal Bank of Scotland
Young Achiever award aims to add to this encouragement.
Once the winner and runner-up have been selected, the official
announcement will be made at the NFU Scotland AGM on 2 March,
when they are presented with their prizes. The winner receives £1000
and a plaque for the farmgate and the runner-up receives £250.
In addition, both prize-winners and their partners will receive
an all expenses paid night at the St Andrews Bay Hotel when they
are presented with their prizes.
The four finalists are:
Jay Crawford - Jay helps to run the family farm, farm
shop and restaurant at Turnberry in Ayrshire and has developed
a new venture whereby he produces biodiesel from the used cooking
oil from the restaurant. All of the farm vehicles, in addition
to two generators, are run on 100% biodiesel and Jay plans to
expand by providing a biodiesel package to local businesses.
Kenneth Johnstone - Kenneth is from near Biggar in Lanarkshire
and, along with his father, runs the 350 hectare beef and sheep
farm. In addition, Kenneth runs an incinerator business, disposing
of fallen stock from local farms in a biosecure and environmentally
friendly way. In the coming years, Kenneth intends to expand
the incineration business and also to develop an additional,
tourism based, business aimed at educating the public about farming
and the benefits it delivers.
Steve Mitchell - from Auchertool in Fife, Steve Mitchell
runs the family farm on which he runs a breeding herd of water
buffalo, in addition to a herd of cattle. Steve supplies the
unique buffalo beef directly to the public through farmers markets
and plans to further develop the business in 2006 and beyond
into milk production and the making of buffalo mozzarella cheese.
Alistair Stewart - Alistair works on the family dairy
farm near Kelso in the Borders. Alistair has diversified the
business by setting up a yoghurt drink enterprise and, using
the milk produced on farm, he produces natural fruit flavoured
yoghurt drinks. Alistair currently sells through local farm shops
but plans to expand by marketing through retailers Scotland wide.
Speaking of the awards, Jimmy McLean, Head of Agricultural Services
at The Royal Bank of Scotland, said:
“The Royal Bank is delighted to be supporting the NFUS
Young Achiever Award again, particularly as the industry adapts
to the challenges and realities of CAP Reform. Our young farmers
are the future of the industry and we are committed to supporting
them. These awards will recognise not only the enthusiasm of
the participants, but also their innovation, market orientation
and the business management skills they bring to their operations.
These are qualities which we at The Royal Bank also look for
when assessing new business propositions.”
Anna Davies, NFU Scotland Communications Officer, said:
“With agriculture being in the midst of great change at
the moment, NFU Scotland feels it is as important as ever to
reward those individuals or companies who are making a positive
and forward looking impact upon the industry. More and more attention
is also being turned to innovative farming and diversification
as farmers become less and less reliant on support payments and
more reliant on the marketplace. As the average age of farmers
in Scotland hits almost 56, focus is also shifting towards supporting
the younger generation who are the future of our industry.
“I am proud that NFUS is running the Excellence Awards
again this year and I look forward to seeing yet another deserving
winner in this category.”
Compete In Innovation Excellence Award Final
Scotland Seeks Views On Diffuse Water Pollution
Compete In Biodiversity Excellence Award Final