Bank of Scotland Corporate has been confirmed as the major sponsor
of Scotsheep 2006.
This year’s national sheep event will be held at Wellheads
Farm, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, on Wednesday, June 7, courtesy of
host farmer, John Gordon, and the Gordon family.
“The sponsorship from Bank of Scotland Corporate will enable
us to make Scotsheep the biggest and best ever, with a wide range
of demonstrations, competitions, exhibits, trade stands and seminars
of vital interest to the Scottish sheep industry,” said John
Gregor, general manager of Aberdeen and Northern Marts, who is
chairman of the local committee organising the event on behalf
of the National Sheep Association.
“Scotsheep has been firmly established for many years as
the top specialist on-farm event for sheep farmers in Scotland
and we look forward to welcoming visitors from all over Scotland
and beyond to this year’s event.”
Bank of Scotland Corporate’s area director agricultural business,
John Taylor, said this year’s Scotsheep is particularly timely
in view of the uncertainty in the sheep industry, and throughout
agriculture, as a result of CAP reforms and the decoupling of support
“Bank of Scotland Corporate is delighted to again support
Scotsheep, arguably the premier sheep event in Scotland,” said
Mr Taylor. “As with all sectors of agriculture, there are
major implications for the industry with the advent of the Single
Farm Payment but the sheep sector is better placed than most and
looks capable of “washing its face” after stripping
The ongoing emphasis would have to be on improving quality and
efficiency by getting lambing percentages up and keeping costs
as low as possible.
“This is where the top producers score and it will be up
to everyone to aspire to that level of performance,” said
Mr Taylor. “There will be exciting opportunities for many
in the brave new world post-CAP reform and Scottish producers will
undoubtedly feature strongly in this.”
This year’s Scotsheep is the 14th since the biennial event
started in 1979. It was previously held in Aberdeenshire in 1981
at Milton of Noth, Rhynie, and in 1993 at Kinnockie, Mintlaw.
Wellheads is an ideal venue for this year’s event and is
widely recognised as a well-managed hill farm with a reputation
for producing high-quality sheep and cattle.
The Gordon family has farmed at Wellheads since 1879 when John’s
great-grandfather became a tenant of the Duke of Richmond and the
farm was purchased by John’s grandfather in 1937.
The farm rises to an elevation of 1230ft - the Sutherland
hills can be viewed from the top on a fine day - and the
livestock enterprise comprises 820 Greyface and Blackface ewes
and 230 beef suckler cows. The farm tour at Scotsheep will go right
to the top of the hill if weather conditions permit.
The 600 Greyface ewes are crossed with Suffolk and Texel rams with
all lambs finished on the farm and the 220 Blackface ewes are put
to the Border Leicester for female replacements for the Greyface
The Black Limousin-type suckler cows are crossed with Charolais
bulls, with 130 calving in autumn and 100 in the spring. Calves
are sold as yearlings at Thainstone Centre in the spring and autumn
and invariably top the sale.
A feature of the farm which will be of interest to many visitors
will be the environmental improvements made under various Rural
Stewardship Scheme projects, including new hedges and two ponds
created for wildlife.
Wellheads was a finalist last year in the Royal Northern Agricultural
Society’s Good Farming Practice Awards and this year won
the North of Scotland Grassland Society’s annual award for
The organising committee is pushing ahead with a comprehensive
programme of activities for Scotsheep which will include farm tour,
sheep dog trials, ATV competition, stockjudging, breed society
exhibits (27 have already confirmed), sheep dressing demonstration,
ear tagging demonstration (including EID), display of handling
equipment, crook making and seminars on health/disease prevention,
Easicare sheep and marketing.
In addition to Bank of Scotland Corporate as major sponsor, Agri-Lloyd,
Harbro Ltd, ANM Group Ltd, Intervet (UK) Ltd and Shearwell Data
have been confirmed as mainline sponsors and Janssen Animal Health,
Caltech, Scotbeef and Stewart Agricultural as national sponsors.
For further information and trade stand booking forms, please contact
one of the joint organisers, Julie Sedgewick, Binchester Hall Farm,
Bishop Auckland, DL14 8DJ. Tel: 01388 609322. Fax: 01388 609553,
Mobile: 07836 773888. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Euan
Emslie, 3 Briar Close, Newport, Brough, East Yorks. Tel: 01430
441870. Fax: 01430 448432. Mobile: 07718 908523. E-mail: email@example.com
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