Farms reach beef awards finals

The Tilson family, John, wife Marion and daughter Wanda Hobbs of Wedderlie farm in Gordon, Berwickshire.

The Tilson family, John, wife Marion and daughter Wanda Hobbs of Wedderlie farm in Gordon, Berwickshire.

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Farms in Westruther and Dunbar have been unveiled as two of the four finalists in this year’s Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Award.

The finalists, announced on Friday by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), represent four very different types of beef systems.

The finalists are: Wedderlie Farm, Westruther, run by John and Marion Tilson and their daughter Wanda; West Meikle Pinkerton Farm near Dunbar, run by James Gilchrist along with his father Jim and brother David; Glenkilrie Farm, near Blairgowrie in Perthshire, run by David Houstoun; and Wester Bonhard Farm near Scone in Perthshire run by Graham Cameron, his father Sandy and mother Ann.

All four businesses share a dedication to improving productivity and efficiency and an impressive commitment to improving the health and welfare of their cattle. They also impressed the award assessors, who visited their farm this week, with their efforts to strengthen the success of their businesses by adopting new ideas and initiatives.

The aim of the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year Award is to showcase excellence in the production of cattle in Scotland and raise the profile of the dedication and stock management skills behind the production of Scotch Beef PGI.

AgriScot and QMS work together to deliver the award which will see the winner receive a £500 cheque. The winner will also receive a £250 voucher to celebrate their success at a Scotch Beef Club restaurant.

The overall winner will be revealed at AgriScot on November 19th at Ingliston which last year attracted more than 9000 attendees.

John Elliot, representing AgriScot, and Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS, visited all four finalist farms last week to evaluate them.

During their visit to the four farms the assessors were looking for evidence of a high standard of technical and financial performance, uptake of new ideas to improve efficiency/profitability, a high level of health and welfare and a keen eye on the market for the end product. The assessors were also looking to gauge the passion and enthusiasm of the farmer, and family and staff where relevant, to efficiently produce high quality animals.