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Tributes paid to Scottish farmer Donald Biggar

Donald Biggar was described as a "great stalwart" of native beef breeds.
Donald Biggar was described as a "great stalwart" of native beef breeds.

Tributes have been paid to well-known Scottish pedigree cattle breeder Donald Biggar OBE who died suddenly last weekend.

Mr Biggar ran the renowned Chapelton herds of Beef Shorthorn and Aberdeen-Angus cattle at Chapelton Farm near Castle Douglas in Dumfries.

He was a lifelong member of NFU Scotland, a former board member of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) when it was Scotland’s Agricultural College (SAC), and former chairman of levy body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said Mr Biggar’s passing at the age of 68 had “left a huge hole in the industry”.

He said: “There are few people who will have contributed more to Scottish farming at a local, regional, national and international level than Donald Biggar.”

He said Mr Biggar’s “lengthy list of achievements” and contributions to the work of farming organisations spoke volumes of his abilities and his OBE for services to agriculture was fully merited.

“While organisations and politicians lined up to seek Donald’s sage counsel, he was always a farmer and a breeder of pedigree stock that were known worldwide,” added Mr McCornick.

“He was always tremendous company and the thoughts of everyone at NFU Scotland, locally and nationally, are with Donald’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive Barrie Turner described Mr Biggar as a “great stalwart of native British beef breeds”.

He said: “His input to the many organisations that he was a member of was always considered and constructive and without doubt added value to each one of them and will be sadly missed.”

Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society president Cathryn Williamson paid tribute to Mr Biggar’s lifelong service to the Beef Shorthorn breed.

She described him as “a highly respected breeder, judge, society director and past president, mentor and friend” and said: “His intellect, wisdom and experience will be sorely missed.”

QMS chief executive Alan Clarke said Mr Biggar was heavily involved in the levy body’s transition from a private company to a public body and he helped secure the return of more than £3.5 million in levy from the Meat and Livestock Commission before the formation of UK levy body AHDB.

SRUC chairman Sandy Cummings said: “He was a very successful, forward-looking farmer whose experience was invaluable on the SAC board and his agricultural business acumen was a big influence on its strategy and direction.”

Mr Biggar is survived by his wife Emma and children Jamie, Rachael and Duncan.

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