Farmers from north win coveted awards

Peter Oosterhof won the young farmer award.
Peter Oosterhof won the young farmer award.

Farmers from Aberdeenshire and Shetland are among the winners in this year’s Marks and Spencer Select Farm Awards.

The awards, which were presented at the Royal Highland Show, aim to celebrate producers in the retailer’s supply base.

The Young Producer Award was presented to Peter Oosterhof from Savoch Farm near Fraserburgh, while the runner-up prize went to Isle of Mull fish farmer Alan Tangny.

Judges praised Mr Oosterhof for his “careful analysis of cattle performance to help maximise the farm’s profitability” and diversification into renewables. Prior to taking on the family farm in 2016, Mr Oosterhof worked in the oil industry and had a year-long sabbatical in New Zealand.

Sheena Mather from Scotbeef, who nominated Mr Oosterhof for the award, said: “As well as big projects, such as overseeing the installation of a biomass grain drying system and biomass heating system on the farm, Peter has been very good at making lots of small changes, that all add up to make a big improvement to the efficiency of the farm.”

Meanwhile, the Farm Resilience Award, run in conjunction with the Prince’s Countryside Fund, was presented to Hazel and Kenneth Mackenzie who have diversified the family’s croft and established a successful farm shop and cafe, as well as holiday accommodation.

The runner-up prize went to Berwickshire beef producers Jim and Jordie Orr.

Mrs Mackenzie said: “I take pleasure in knowing that we have created a new, rural community hub, where people from the surrounding area can meet up, shop and socialise.”

The Excellence Award went to Dawnfresh Frandy Fish Farm team in Clackmannanshire, and the Innovation Award winner was Scottish Sea Farms in Stirling.