The Young farmers show and sale of overwintered cattle, held at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, saw Mark Robertson sweep the boards with a strong line-up of livestock.
Mark, of Fodderletter Farms, Mid Fodderletter, Tomintoul, won the Calladrum Cup, the overall championship, the top-priced animal, and the homebred champion titles.
Now in its 26th year, the annual two-day event is sponsored by Ledingham Chalmers LLP and organised by Aberdeen and Northern Marts. The show and sale provides young farmers between the ages of 14 and 30 with hands-on practice in the art of stockmanship through the tasks of selection, feeding, preparing and parading cattle for shows and sales, all while engaging in friendly competition with their peers.
Mark Robertson claimed the overall and steer championship with a 518kg British Blue cross steer, which was purchased by judge Louise Allan, of Arnsow Farm, Kirkmichael, Maybole, for £1,700. Mr Robertson’s top-priced beast, a 10-month-old, 428kg Limousin heifer, realised a substantial £2,500 to an undisclosed buyer, and went on to claim the Calladrum Cup title.
The Calludrum cup was introduced to the competition in 2017 to emphasise the commercial aspects of livestock production, and is awarded to the exhibitor with the highest feeders’ margin, highest average daily live weight gain, best presented and paraded animal and best quality animal.
The overall heifer champion title was achieved by a 11-month-old, 460kg Limousin cross from Jack Hendry, Heads of Auchinderran, Aultmore, Keith, and going on to sell for £2,000 to Keith Commercials, Corsairtly, Keith.
Mark Robertson also topped the homebred section of the competition with his 11-month-old, 410kg British Blue cross steer, which was purchased by W. A. Fettes, Braes of Enzie for £2,000.
Last year’s overall champion, Ally Fraser, was awarded the best presented and paraded title with a 15-month-old Limousin cross steer, weighing 488kg. The steer realised £1,150 and was bought by W. and J. Cameron, Burnside of Edingight, Grange, Keith.
Other notable prices from the sale included an 11-month-old, 466kg Limousin cross steer from K. Cruickshank, Clury Farm, Dulnain Bridge, Grantown, which achieved £1,560 to Backmuir Trading, Backmuir, Keith; a 10-month-old Limousin cross heifer weighing 510kg, presented by G. Fraser, Easter Clune, Lethen, Nairn, realising £1,450 to Sheep Park Farms, Bridge of Marnoch, Huntly; and an 11-month-old, 620kg Charolais cross steer, exhibited by S. and K. Smith, Bankhead, Portlethen, Aberdeen, and selling for £1,360 to W. and J. Cameron.
The steer with the highest margin was presented by Frazer Sleigh, Tarves, Ellon, whose 23-month-old Limousin cross steer, weighing 666kg, made £630.
Claiming the top position in both the novice and junior award was Kyle Cruikshank, Clury Farm, Dulnain Bridge, Grantown, earning 26 points in each category with his 11-month-old steer.
Keith and District Young Farmers’ Club once again was awarded the overall club title earning 96 points, with Nairn placing second with 56 points.
Prime and cull cattle manager Tim McDonald said: “It is fantastic to see such tremendous enthusiasm for events that support the future generation of our industry.
“We are delighted to support our local young farmers through shows and sales such as this that teaches the fundamentals and commercial aspects of livestock rearing. The exhibitor skills and quality of animals we saw today is a testament to the commitment and passion these young participants have for farming.”