Quixwood’s ScotSheep hosts are honoured by NSA

Pictured left to right are: NSA Scottish Region Treasurer Mamie Paterson; John Macfarlane; NSA President the Duke of Montrose; Iain Macfarlane; NSA Scottish Region Chairman Sybil MacPherson; David Leggat; NSA Scottish Region Development Manager George Milne.'The group are a pen of Scotch Mule ewe lambs owned by the Duke of Montrose, which sold at the sale for �138 per head.

Pictured left to right are: NSA Scottish Region Treasurer Mamie Paterson; John Macfarlane; NSA President the Duke of Montrose; Iain Macfarlane; NSA Scottish Region Chairman Sybil MacPherson; David Leggat; NSA Scottish Region Development Manager George Milne.'The group are a pen of Scotch Mule ewe lambs owned by the Duke of Montrose, which sold at the sale for �138 per head.

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This year’s ScotSheep hosts John and Ian Macfarlane of Quixwood, Grantshouse were presented with an award for their role in the successful biennial event.

United Acutions chairman David Leggat, who chaired the NSA Scotsheep Organising committee, was also presented with a crytal bowl at the United Auctions Scotch Mule ewe lamb sale in Stirling last Monday.

NSA Scottish regional manager George Milne, said: “NSA Scottish Region is delighted to thank the host farming family for all the work and effort they put into making NSA ScotSheep such a success. Appreciation must also go to David Leggat, chair of the organising committee, who made an excellent job of chairing the event.”

The Macfarlane family hosted the industry event in June - and invited farmers to return for a farm walk a few weeks later afterfarm tours on the day were cancelled because of the weather.

John and his son Iain run 1,500 ewes and 700 suckler cows on ground rising to 850 feet at Quixwood, and adjoining farms, Ferneylea and Drakemyre, with another 200 acres farmed on a contract basis.

Incessant rain throughout the ScotSheep day itself failed to dampen the enthusiasm at Scotland’s national sheep event which attracted an estimated 6,500 visitors, down on the 8,000 at ScotSheep 2012 “but still a strong turnout given the weather,” said an NSA ScotSheep spokesperson

The 200 trade and sheep breed society stands had reported brisk business as visitors headed undercover to get away from the relentless downpour.

NSA president, the Duke of Montrose, officially opened the event telling those present: “We have less than 20 years to deliver 40% more food, 30% more fresh water and 50% more energy to meet the demands of a rising world population, the rapid development of emerging economies and shortages of land, water and energy,” he said.

“Agriculture, including the sheep industry, is going to have to grasp every innovation and opportunity on offer.”

The UK Government had made initial funds of £70 million available to the academic world and industry under its Strategy for Agricultural Technologies initiative.

“We are particularly lucky that here in Scotland we have a concentration of bodies at the fore-front of sheep health research and their discoveries must be quickly brought to commercial application. Let us be sure that a sufficient amount of this assistance is won by Scottish innovation and industry,” The Duke of Montrose said.

The Duke also renewed the NSA’s plea to MEPs to move the European Food Safety Authority to remove the need for carcase splitting, a practice which is costing the sheep meat industry £23 million a year.

“There is no evidence to show a natural link to BSE or a threat to human health so there should be no need for carcase splitting under the TSE rules,” the Duke said.

The presentation group are pictured with a pen of Scotch Mule ewe lambs owned by the Duke of Montrose, which sold at the sale for £138 per head.