Congratulations to the Watson family on winning the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year.
Peter Watson and his sons, Adam and David who farm 1,350 acres at Darnford, Banchory use Charolais as the terminal sire over their 426 cow Salers cross suckler herd and steers and heifers finish to an average 380kg within 20 months.
Iain Malcolm, Wester Coilechat, Callander was one of the two runners up. Farming 2,700 upland acres, the cattle enterprise includes 190 spring calving Shorthorn cross cows with the majority put to the Charolais. The enterprise is underpinned by a deferred grazing system whereby cattle are wintered on the high hill.
Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead who presented the award at Agriscot said: “Family farms like Darnford are the backbone of our livestock industry. This year’s winner and the other finalists should be commended for their commitment to building sustainable and viable farming businesses which auger well for the future of the beef industry in Scotland.” Peter Watson commented: “We are very much a family-run business and it is great that a commercial enterprise like ours has been recognised in this way. The farm is very much a team effort with the family, sons David and Adam and their wives, Aynsley and Lynne as well as neighbouring farmers, Linda Stewart, Allan Melvin and Grant Milne who are all involved. We have been steadily increasing our herd numbers in recent years and we are confident about the future of our enterprise and in beef production in Scotland and plan to continue to increase our herd size.”
The Agriscot QMS organised award aims 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. The judges, Robert Neill and Douglas Bell based their decisions on evidence of a high standard of technical and financial performance, uptake of new ideas to improve efficiency and profitability, a high level of health and welfare and a keen eye on the market for the end product. They also looked to gauge the passion and enthusiasm of the farmer, and family and staff where relevant, to efficiently produce high quality animals.