North-east auctioneer Ellis Mutch talks about his appearance in the new Scotch Beef TV advert
What’s your background in farming?
I grew up on my family farm, Burnside of Whitefield, Forglen near Turriff. I’m the third generation of Mutch to farm there. Burnside of Whitefield is a mixed farm with arable, cattle and sheep. From a young age I’ve been really interested in the stock side of the farm, especially our pedigree herd of Forglen Charolais. As soon as I was old enough to join the Young Farmers movement I did so in a flash and it has been the best experience and I would recommend it to anyone, rural background or not. After leaving school I attended SAC Craibstone, Aberdeen, and obtained my BSc in agriculture and then I went home to work on the farm for five years.
What do you do for a living now?
After a change at home on the farm, I saw an advert for a livestock fieldsman with Aberdeen and Northern Marts which I applied for and was successful. Since starting in August 2017, I have now progressed to trainee auctioneer and I am enjoying the chance I have been given with weekly selling at our Thainstone and Elgin centres. Alongside auctioneering, I am still working at home helping my dad at times when I can, and there is no doubt I love farming and our industry.
As if I wasn’t busy enough, I am also a retained firefighter at my local station, Aberchirder, and have been for over six years.
Why did you take part in the Scotch Beef advert?
I saw this opportunity and thought it couldn’t be missed – how often have you seen our industry and what we are producing on national TV. It was a great chance to promote a product I am passionate about, which is produced to the highest welfare and production standards. So many other groups are able to shout loud enough for the cause they believe in, and so should we. Our Scotch Beef is known across the world for its quality and taste and more should be said about our excellent product.
What do you think makes Scotch Beef special?
Scotch Beef is special because of the hard work our industry puts in to a product which has been quality-assured from birth right through to the moment it reaches the plate.
Every link in the production chain – from farmer, market, abattoir and butcher – adheres to Quality Meat Scotland’s assurance schemes. This gives the consumer reassurance of provenance, the highest standards of production, animal welfare and wellbeing which, in turn, delivers a quality eating experience.
What role do auction marts play in the Scotch Beef supply chain?
Auction marts play a vital part of the Scotch Beef supply chain. They are the only way in which a true value and price can be given on stock and where certain buyers can select the animals that suit their own requirements.
What is your involvement in Scotch Beef production?
My involvement in Scotch Beef production starts at home where we have a herd of 60 spring-calving suckler cows. Through the auction market side of Scotch Beef production, I have learnt new aspects of the industry such as selecting cattle ready for slaughter. I also advise many of my customers on recent trends within the store cattle market. I am also chairman for the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative, a charity working to promote the rural industry and all its aspects.