North East farming stalwarts honoured

Banchory Show stalwart Gordon Christie, right, receives the Unsung Hero award from RNAS president, Keith Walker
Banchory Show stalwart Gordon Christie, right, receives the Unsung Hero award from RNAS president, Keith Walker

Four stalwarts of North-east farming were honoured at the recent annual awards lunch of the Royal Northern Agricultural Society.

More than 250 guests were welcomed by society chairman, Keith Walker, to Jury’s Inn Hotel, Aberdeen Airport.

Mr Walker said: “We had a wealth of talent nominated in all four categories of the awards which made the selection of recipients very difficult for the judging panel.

“We have finished up with four very deserving recipients for these prestigious awards”

The award for outstanding service to the industry was presented to prominent farmer, pedigree cattle breeder, housebuilder, after-dinner speaker and raconteur, Malcolm Allan, Uppermill, Kintore.

He has hosted two major on-farm events for the society over the years and is a strong supporter of initiatives to encourage youngsters in the industry, particularly the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative.

The Aberdeen and Northern Marts award for outstanding service on a more local basis was presented to George Mearns, founder and director of Turriff Agri-Parts Ltd, who this year celebrate 40 years in business.

Former president and long-time treasurer of the Deeside Agricultural Association, organisers of the annual Banchory Show, Gordon Christie, received the Argo family’s Unsung Hero award.

The 35-and-under award was handed over by Prof essor Caroline Argo, from sponsors, SRUC, to research scientist and Aberdeen University graduate, Dr Jenna Ross, daughter of Brian and Alison Ross, who farm at Craskins, Tarland.

She has emerged as a recognised world-wide expert in the control of slugs and snails which damage to crops wordwide.

Jenna currently works at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire but is continuing joint research projects with Aberdeen University and Stellenbosch University in South Africa where she worked for six years.

The agricultural apprentice awards were presented to Oliver Pirie, Castle of Auchry, Turriff, (farmer’s son or daughter working at home), Paul Duguid, Aberdeen, who is studying for a BSc (Hons) degree at SRUC Aberdeen and helps Stuart Wood with his Woodies Beltex flock at Westhill (employee), and the agricultural engineering award went to David Scott Rosin, Milton of Culsh, Tarland, an apprentice with Ravenhill at Dyce.