In anticipation of the eagerly awaited Scottish Agriculture Awards happening this Thursday. We meet more of the finalists:
Supplier of the Year
Redpath Tyres started its journey from a single depot in Kelso almost 50 years ago and since then the company founder Peter Redpath had a vision to provide a unique service to the farming community in the Scottish Borders.
His motto was ‘any tyre, anywhere, any time’ and this Ethos has been carried forward by the Family, now in its Third generation.
Redpath Tyres has adapted to the changes in farming by investing in technology.
The company now employs over 80 staff and operates from 11 locations covering virtually every area of Scotland.
At KW we believe in helping our customers to produce healthy, high-performing herds. As a market leader in the ruminant feed sector, we can help improve outputs and health by giving options to meet your specific feed-related KPIs with our exclusive range of products and services. We can integrate with consultants and use technical rationing technology alongside market insight and trends to empower you to maximise your ROI. KW is ideally placed in the Scottish agricultural feeds sector for supplying quality co-products, straights, blends, liquids, and performance products. KW – more than just feed.
Jack Lamb Agricultural Merchant
Jack Lamb Agricultural Merchant is a family-run business established in 1999 selling agricultural goods – animal feed, fertiliser, grass seed, lime, fodder, etc. We are based in Ayrshire and sell to customers throughout Scotland.
We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and always try to go above and beyond to ensure this happens, this is due to our sales team (Jack, Katherine and David Brown who retired last year) having a good knowledge of all our customers and their requirements.
We work with a number of suppliers to provide a variety of options and we will try our best to get anything our customers need we get great satisfaction from helping our customers to improve their business.
Arable Farm of the Year sponsored by soilessentials
Savock Farms is a diversified, rural farming business in the North East of Scotland growing a variety of crops for food and energy production.
As well as farming their own land at Savock they also have a contract farming agreement within the area. The addition of an on-farm AD plant has not only enabled Savock Farms to improve its soil health and reduce its dependency on inorganic fertilisers while continuing to improve on its rolling 5-year yield average.
Savock Farms’ ethos is always to take a long-term view understanding that they are just custodians and the focus is to pass this land on to the next generation in better condition.
Robert Reid & Son, Gourdie Farm
Gourdie Increased in acreage with the purchase of land from neighbouring farms and the purchase of Coupar Grange Farm in 1991. In 2005 the decision to sell the cattle and concentrate on solely arable was taken. They have four full-time hardworking staff, including their son Taylor who will become the 6th generation.
Cereals are sold through the Co-Op at East of Scotland Farmers of which Graham is a Director, Oil Seed Rape through Frontier, potatoes through the Scottish Potato Co-Op, and carrots through Kettle Produce.
Through Benchmarking the partnership is constantly looking to improve on current practices and take future opportunities.
The Gill family has been farming at Rosskeen since the 1890s. Currently being looked after by the fifth generation. Our family farm has adapted over the generations having previously produced a variety of products for the local market including fruits, flowers, seed potatoes, and pedigree Simmentals. We are now primarily an arable farm growing malting barley for the local Highland Grain co-operative and Winter Wheat for the local distillery. We have invested in storage and cereal handling to try and future-proof our business as well as making things user-friendly for all involved. This has allowed us to take on contract farming opportunities and storage for a variety of customers.
Dairy Farm of the Year Award sponsored by GEA
Coopon Carse Farm
Coopon Carse was brought in 1983 by Mr. Wijnand Pon at that time it was a beef and sheep farm. In April 1984 milk production started with 160 commercial cows at the same time 70 pedigree calves were imported from the Netherlands to start the pedigree herd. Now milking 430 cows through seven A5 Lely robots installed in 2020 employing 7 full-time and 2 part-time staff. The cows are producing over 12000 litres 4.17 fat and 3.45 protein with a preg rate of 28%. Coopon Carse is made up of heavy clay so ideally suited to grass growing with its high rainfall of 1430 mm a year. Almost all field work is done with our own staff. Our aim is to be positive, stay focused, and be efficient at whatever we do.
Kyle Farm Partnership farms about 900 acres at Linns Farm Dumfries. The farm has 700 cows plus followers on a spring block calving system. The system aims to produce very high constituent milk mainly from grass from a long grazing system with a network of cow tracks giving access to every paddock on the farm. The herd is calved in a tight block starting mid-February each year. The herd is managed by a hard-working team. They are responsible for all daily tasks, milking, grass allocation, herd health, grass measuring, etc. The overall ambition is to have a pleasant place to work, creating opportunities for staff to progress with proper time off.
Mackie’s of Scotland – Westertown Farm
Mackie’s is a family business with around 280 black and white Holstein milking cows.
The farm crop strategy is related to the food required and we currently grow 600 acres of grass and 900 acres of cereals.
The cows milk themselves via robotic milking machines which means the cows are free to eat, drink, ruminate rest, and be milked according to their own natural biorhythms. The ‘voluntary access milking system’ measures and records details like timing and milk yield.
Sustainability is key to the firm which has invested heavily in renewable energy, farm-made packaging, and low-carbon refrigeration.
Diversified Farm of the Year sponsored by SAC Consulting
Sheepdog School, Ardros Farms
Ardros Farms is a 700-acre mixed livestock unit in organic conversion on the Isle of Bute. We have broken World records for trained sheepdogs and enjoyed success on the trial field. Using this hard-won knowledge we have diversified into an online sheepdog School dedicated to teaching fellow farmers and others a valuable life skill of how to train their working sheepdog wherever in the world they might be.
J K & C Bone
Glenkiln runs a herd of 120 Aberdeen Angus spring calving cows with another 40 followers and a flock of 600 blackface and cheviot ewes. Spring barley is grown which makes the farm self-sufficient with feed and straw. 110 acres of silage and haylage are grown for the livestock.
Glenkiln initially diversified into horse liveries. Later, farm cottages were upgraded to accommodate long-term lets. Further housing was provided by converting redundant farm buildings into residential units and later new build houses were developed to accommodate local families.
A hydroelectric scheme was built on Glenkiln in 2016 supplying most of the power to 400 homes in the village and the business is working on the pre-development of a 4 megawatt solar farm.
J W Smith Byres Farm
Byres Farm is part of a mixed farming enterprise, encompassing suckler cows, breeding sheep, bed and breakfast pigs, malting barley, and grain storage. The family has adopted many regenerative farming practices over recent years and has a real focus on educating the public about farming and the countryside.
Visitors can enjoy day trips to feed animals and play in the play areas and offers private hires, weddings, seasonal events, parties, farm tours, school trips, Whisky tours, collaborative workshops, meeting spaces with wifi, and more.
It is not just a place, it’s an experience. Whether you’re seeking a day of learning, adventure, or simply a peaceful escape, Byres Farm has something special to offer.