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Stackyard News Feb 06

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Bank of Scotland to Sponsor Scotsheep 2006

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 from production.

“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 out subsidies.”

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 flock.

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 baled silage.

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:, or Euan Emslie, 3 Briar Close, Newport, Brough, East Yorks. Tel: 01430 441870. Fax: 01430 448432. Mobile: 07718 908523. E-mail:

link Educational Day Out For Primary School Pupils at Scotsheep 2006
link Scotsheep to return to Aberdeenshire In 2006
link Making the Grade with Lambs
link Major Export Push For Livestock

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