Jackson is the best of crop and grass bunch

Border Crop & Grassland Management Competition 2012. John McLaren (judge), Ian McLaren (judge), Ian Jackson (championship winner), Keith Thomson (chairman) at the Ednam House Hotel.
Border Crop & Grassland Management Competition 2012. John McLaren (judge), Ian McLaren (judge), Ian Jackson (championship winner), Keith Thomson (chairman) at the Ednam House Hotel.

NORTHUMBERLAND farmer Ian Jackson was declared the region’s best farmer at the Border Union Crop and Grassland Society’s awards night last week.

The awards ceremony for the Border Union Agricultural Society and Kelso and District Agricultural Discussion Society’s competition took place after a dinner at the Ednam House Hotel last Thursday.

The competition was founded 40 years ago under its guiding motto “It’s no’ what ye hae, it’s what you dae with what you hae”. This year nine judges toured 21 farms over two days to decide which farmers were making the most of the resources.

Chairman Keith Thomson, of Blakelaw Farm, Kelso, said: “The judges were impressed by everybody. They all commented on how well the crops and livestock were looking on all farms considering the weather we’ve been having and some admitted to being a little envious of what they had seen.

“We just need the good weather now to fulfil all the potential.”

Mr Thomson, who is in his first year as chairman, added his own delight at seeing fresh blood being attracted to the competition: “The entrants we had were all excellent, and I did get a kick out of seeing three or four new ones this year, because we don’t get many.”

Ian Jackson of Bowsden Hall Farm, Bowsden, won the championship, judged by Ian McLaren of Cronan Farm, Coupar Angus and John McLaren of Wester Keillour near Methven in Perthshire, while W.B. Hamilton and Sons of Bee Edge Farm, Coldingham took second place overall and the Mackenzie Trophy.

The Matt Prentice Quaich for best winter wheat was awarded to Andrew Hodge of Rulesmains, Duns, and W.B. Hamilton and Sons collected the J.T. Carmichael Cup for livestock, presented by John Swan and Sons.

In the arable farming category, Thomas Todd of Barelees, Cornhill, took the first prize in the lowground smaller class, followed by Robert Lamont of Dunslaw Farm, Duns, in second place, while the lowground larger class was won by J. and T. Clark of Kerchesters, Kelso, with Clive Forster of Hassendean Bank, Denholm, coming second.

The Hogg Cup for the best in the stockrearing class was scooped by G.S. Shaw and Co of Smailholm Mains, Kelso, and livestock farmer Peter Douglas of Ruletownhead, Bonchester Bridge, gained second place. The AJ Fleming Trophy for best commercial beef enterprise went to BQ Farming & Eckford Farming at Bowhill, Selkirk.

The first prize Buccleuch Quaich in the conservation class, judged by Carol Littlewood of Littlewood Landcare in Montrose, was awarded to Bonchester farmer Peter Douglas of Ruletownhead, and the second prize to Robert Brickell of Holydean, Bowden.

Mr Thomson said: “The committee is extremely grateful for the very generous support received from the businesses and organisations who provided sponsorship. Also huge thanks to this year’s entrants, without whom there would be no competition, and to the judges and stewards for giving up their time.”