AgriScot awards for beef, diversified and sheep farms may have just recently got underway – the nomination period opened earlier this month – however, the Scottish dairy farm award has moved into full-on assessment mode with organisers unveiling the top 3 entries.
The 3 businesses, East Brackenridge in South Lanarkshire, Holehouse Farm in Ayrshire, and Queenscairn in Roxburghshire have now each received a visit from the independent assessors along with award convenor Gilmour Lawrie.
Gilmour Lawrie, himself a dairy farmer and also Vice Chairman of the AgriScot board, commented:
“It was fantastic to be able to visit the 3 outstanding dairy operations in the running for the 2021 Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year title. The AgriScot farm of the year awards were sorely missed last year and we are delighted with the support for the 2021 award.”
“It has been great to have representatives from previous dairy farms of the year, Hugh Watson from Laigh Tarbeg, Cumnock (2018) and David McMiken from Ernespie, Castle Douglas (2019), on board as independent assessors for the 2021 award. I would like to thank the assessors for their time and the host farmers for their hospitality and wish them luck as we look forward to the award presentation at AgriScot in November.”
“Personally, I thought all 3 farms were of a tremendously high standard and the assessors will have a hard job separating them.”
East Brackenridge is home to 350 all-year-round calvers, farmed by Andrew Neilson, his father Hugh and their team.
Holehouse Farms is run by the Logan family, fifth-generation farmers milking 280 Holstein dairy cows alongside sucklers and a large hill-sheep enterprise.
Queenscairn is an organic dairy farm where Robert Shanks runs Holstein cows with a Friesian bull with the aim of converting the herd to Friesian.
The AgriScot Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year award is sponsored by CowAlert – the cow welfare precision monitoring package developed by Edinburgh based IceRobotics – and seeks to recognise farms that are a showcase for the sector. Like the other awards in the AgriScot stable, organisers are keen to stress that they are not looking simply for farms achieving maximum output, rather, assessors look for innovation, sustainability and the shop window appeal of the farms entered.
The AgriScot Scottish Arable Farm of the Year award is also reaching its final stages with three finalist farms set to each receive an assessment visit in early August.
Image below: Andrew Neilson (left) with his father Hugh (far right) and assessors, David McMiken (second from left) and Hugh Watson at East Brackenridge.
Image below: The Logan family with award assessors David McMiken (second from left) and Hugh Watson (third from left) at Holehouse Farms. L:R Alistair Logan, David McMiken, Hugh Watson, Alex Logan and Tom Logan.
Image below: Robert Shanks at Queenscairn near Kelso.