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Society awards will go to local farming heroes

James Buckingham, Graham Bruce, David Smith and Stuart Duncan.
James Buckingham, Graham Bruce, David Smith and Stuart Duncan.

The Royal Northern Agricultural Society (RNAS) has unveiled the winners of its prestigious annual awards.

A number of awards are presented by the society every year to recognise members of the farming community in the area.

The recipients of the accolades will receive their awards at a special celebration lunch on Friday November 2 at the Jury’s Inn at Aberdeen Airport.

The winner of this year’s Press and Journal Award, which recognises a public figure or personality for their services to agriculture, goes to the managing director of Ringlink, Graham Bruce.

Mr Bruce has worked at the machinery ring since its inception 30 years ago.

He has been instrumental in driving forward an initiative to encourage youngsters to consider a career in agriculture.

This has now become a formally recognised pre-apprenticeship delivered in partnership with Scotland’s Rural College, SRUC.

The local award, which is sponsored by Aberdeen & Northern Marts, goes to well-known Auchnagatt farmer David Smith of Cloffrickford Farm.

The award, which recognises someone for their services to local communities, specialist farming organisations or groups, goes to Mr Smith in recognition of his involvement with NFU Scotland, his work to promote renewable energy, and his engagement with the local community.

Meanwhile the David Argo Award, which is presented to an unsung hero employed in the agricultural sector, will be given to north-east pig industry stalwart James Buckingham. Mr Buckingham has run his own pig engineering and advisory business for the past 30 years.

He is a regular face on pig farms in the north, helping to install and monitor various pig feeding systems.

The Under 35 Award, sponsored by SRUC, will be awarded to agricultural mechanic Stuart Duncan from Redhouse Farm, Tullynessle, Alford.

The award, which is given to a person in that age group who has demonstrated significant achievement and contribution to agriculture, goes to Mr Duncan in recognition of his hard work and determination in establishing his own business repairing farm machinery.

Lastly, three awards will be presented to up and coming figures in the sector.

The student award for a farmer’s son or daughter working at home, sponsored by Clydsedale Bank, will be presented to Rebecca Bradley of Clashindarroch Cottage, Gartly, Huntly.

Ms Bradley, a keen member of Garioch Young Farmers Club, is currently studying rural business management at SRUC’s Craibstone campus, near Aberdeen.

The award for a student employed outwith the home, also sponsored by Clydesdale Bank, will go to Aberdeen & Northern Marts trainee auctioneer James Scott of The Rothes, Market Street, Maud.

A keen shepherd, Mr Scott recently gained a pass with distinction in his higher national diploma in agriculture.

Meanwhile, the award for an agricultural apprentice, sponsored by Turriff Agri Parts, will be presented to Martyn Burnett of Dennyvale, Oyne, Insch.

Mr Burnett, who has aspirations to own his own croft to breed pedigree Texel sheep one day, currently works as an apprentice at HRN Tractors in Insch.

Tickets for the awards lunch on Friday November 2 cost £27.50 and are available from RNAS secretary Alison Argo by calling 07714 899628 or by sending an email to secretary@rnas.info

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