This week the Scottish Farmer takes a closer look at some of the finalists in three of the award categories. The finalists all showcase the best of Scottish agriculture and we will find out the winners at the awards night on October 26 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.
Health provider of the year
Tinto Farm Vets is an independent, locally owned, dedicated farm animal veterinary practice. Established in 2020 by Chris McGregor and Ross Wilson, we are now a four-vet practice, servicing our clients’ businesses in the central belt of Scotland. Our small, proactive team allows us to provide the highest standards of veterinary care to our patients. We enjoy delivering case continuity and a regular, friendly face which we believe our clients hugely value. We are firm believers in local, independent veterinary practice. With our vets and directors having full autonomy in our business, we can react and adapt instantly to the changing pressures our clients face in the industry. By engaging with our local farming community, we hope to build on the foundations we have created and allow our business to continue growing in the coming years.
East of Scotland Farmers
We are a farmer-owned co-operative made up of more than 300 members based in Coupar Angus, Perthshire. The business was established in 1959 and the Country Store was later opened in 2007. We are a 1 store Agribusiness, and our size is our strength. Our animal health team is made up of 4 RAMA’s. This means our customers receive consistent, accurate, and up-to-date advice and information, face to-face and through our social media platforms. We are friendly and approachable, and aim to build valued relationships with them so that they in turn trust the knowledge and expertise that we provide knowing it is going to benefit them and their animals in the most positive way, which we thrive on! We are a young, enthusiastic, and thirsty team always looking to maximize our knowledge with the latest technology.
Our 17 dedicated Farm Vets have over 200 years of experience between them, giving us both a wide knowledge base and a range of specific skills and interests across all areas of farm practice.
Services we provide include ambulatory services, dairy routine herd visits, AI and Embryo transfers, health planning, sheep lung scanning, cow foot trimming, export health certification, and student/farmer training. No job is too big or too small for our Farm Team.
In addition to our vet team, we have two highly skilled and experienced vet techs who offer services such as vaccinations, disbudding, and mobility scoring. Our small animal and equine department are RCVS hospital status and our farm department is level 2. We provide support from our two branches in Stirling and Lanark 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Machinery dealer of the year
C T Scott Ltd
C T Scott Ltd, established in August 2016, is a family-run agricultural sales, service and parts company specialising in application technology. C T Scott has grown, in a relatively short space of time, to a team of 7 hardworking and dedicated individuals. Due to demand, we are hoping to expand our team further in the coming months. Our main depot is based in Insch, Aberdeenshire with a satellite branch in Forfar. We are dealers for market-leading agricultural machinery manufacturers namely, Agrifac UK, Bateman Engineering, Landquip, and Spreadpoint covering the whole of Scotland. As we specialise specifically in application technology, we strive to offer the best products on the market, whilst tailoring our service to the needs of each individual customer.
Netherton Tractors Ltd
Netherton Tractors Ltd is an agricultural dealership that has been established since 1987, and as a result of over 30 years of providing excellent support to our customers, we now have five outlets across the country with 96 staff, covering from the M8 north. With depots in Perth, Glenrothes, Finavon (our head office), Turriff, and Nairn, we pride ourselves in never seeing anyone stuck and endeavour to always keep the customer moving. We are fortunate in that some of the customers we are now dealing with are the third generation of decision-makers. We also have good continuity in place with our staff, with some employees having been with the company since the day of inception 36 years ago.
The third-generation independent family business is the biggest Honda dealer and Polaris dealer in Scotland. The business has grown considerably within the last three years from nine to 22 employees. This year they launched their Ambassador programme and provided a young farmer with an ATV for a year to help them grow in farming, we launched a Service Van for on-farm servicing and maintenance. One of the branches trebled in size with the company now running eight fully approved technicians across both sites. Many of our customers are second and third-generation and have been with the Paterson ATV throughout. Paterson ATV is very well-known within the industry for providing high-quality customer service.
Advisor of the year
Heather Wildman is a charismatic and spirited individual unafraid of tackling tough conversations and challenging issues. With a blend of humour, vitality, and unwavering dedication, she brings a unique approach to facilitating and mediation in family succession, staff management, leadership, and resilience. Rooted in farming and rural values, Heather cultivates vibrant communities where her warm demeanour fosters openness and collaboration. Her ability to seamlessly transition from light-heartedness discussion to serious strategic focus showcases her dynamic nature. And this is why she has built a brand and reputation for being the go-to lady for family succession throughout the UK.
Eric Anderson with over thirty-eight years of experience in crop and soil management is simply one of the most capable agricultural arable advisors operating within the UK today. While most associated with the potato crop, where he has an international reputation that has seen him consult throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia, and North America, he is equally comfortable discussing combinable crops, new technology & techniques, cover cropping, and soil management. Eric maintains close linkages with growers and the wider arable industry to enable effective communication and practical adoption of research findings. He has a genuine enthusiasm and passion for crop production. Being at home in front of a group of farmers or world-leading academics, Eric makes a positive contribution to businesses wherever he operates.
SAC Consulting, a division of SRUC provides independent agricultural advice to farmers and landowners throughout Scotland. Having worked for SAC for nearly 9 years, Hazel Laughton is based in the Lanark office which services around 400 clients throughout the wider Lanarkshire area. Her responsibilities as an adviser include delivering advice on a wide range of topics including business, financial, livestock performance and nutrition, subsidy schemes, legislation, animal health, biodiversity, environment, and climate change mitigations.
Former The Scottish Farmer editor, Ken Fletcher, chairman of the relevant category judging panels, said: “Scotland is blessed with some of the finest agricultural advisers that can be found anywhere in the world, and the short list of finalists for the Advisor of the Year is testament to that. In their own fields, each contributes to the general health and well-being of their clients and their farms.
“This was a very difficult category to cut down to just three and it would have been easy to put forward six candidates, but those chosen represent people who ‘make a difference’ in their own unique ways.
“This was replicated for the Machinery Dealer of the Year judging which again gave us plenty of food for thought. Again, it was the high level of service and the testimonials we received from the three in the short leet that allowed us to make an informed and interesting selection from the wide diaspora that makes up this industry in Scotland.
“From the Animal Health Provider of the Year short leet, we can again see a breadth and depth of knowledge that keeps Scotland in the forefront of animal health and welfare. Looking after clients and their livestock is a core theme that runs through the entries”