Borders farmer takes top QMS role

Jim McLaren and Kate Rowell.
Jim McLaren and Kate Rowell.

Borders farmer Kate Rowell has been appointed by Scottish ministers as the new chair of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Mrs Rowell, who has been a member of the QMS board since April 2015, will take over the role on October 1st when current chair Jim McLaren steps down after almost eight years at the helm.

She is a fifth generation farmer running the 750 hectare Hundleshope farm on the Haystoun Estate, where the family have been tenants for 150 years.

She runs the hill unit near Peebles with her husband Ed and their four children.

A qualified vet, Mrs Rowell worked in a mixed practice in the North of England for eight years before she returned home to take over the reins of the family business.

The Rowells run 75 suckler cows and around 800 sheep on the farm which was previously a monitor farm, part of the successful QMS programme.

Mrs Rowell is an Honorary President of Peebles Agricultural Society and took part in the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme in 2015 and 2016, attending the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference as an Emerging Leader.

She is also actively involved in supporting the work of the Royal Highland Education Trust which aims to encourage children to have a better understanding of the farming industry and where their food comes from.

Mrs Rowell said she was delighted and very much looking forward to taking up the role of chair at the start of next month.

“I feel privileged to have this opportunity to play such a pivotal role in the Scottish red meat industry.

“I am very much looking forward to getting out and about in the coming weeks and months to hear more from people working in all parts of the red meat industry,” said Mrs Rowell.