The Royal Northern Agricultural Society (RNAS) has revealed the winners of its prestigious annual awards.
The society presents a number of awards each year to agricultural stalwarts from the north-east in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the industry.
Accolades will be presented with their awards at the society’s lunch in Aberdeen on Friday November 3 to shine a light on the achievements of winners within the various categories.
This year’s recipient of the Press & Journal/RNAS shield, which is given to a public figure or personality for their services to agriculture, is Peter Cook.
Mr Cook, who was brought up on the family farm at Mosshead, Kemnay, is director of Food, Drink and Agricultural at Opportunity North East (ONE).
He is widely regarded as an excellent communicator with a wealth of experience which he has built up through roles within a range of organisations including SAC, Aberdeen University and his own agriculture advisory business.
Winning this year’s Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ local award is businessman Gordon Towns, who is a partner in Towns and Carnie Ltd, which operates throughout the north-east.
Mr Towns started his career as a mart clerk in Elgin, before moving to North Eastern Farmers, and then establishing Towns & Carnie Ltd with Sandy Carnie in 1982.
The winner of the David Argo Award – presented to an unsung hero in the sector – is recently retired Norvite Animal Nutrition feed adviser Iain MacDonald.
Originally from a farm in Mid Lothian, Mr MacDonald has lived at Croy near Inverness for much of his life and worked with the feed firm for 25 years.
As well as a commentator at local shows, he is well-known for educating the next generation through the Royal Highland Education Trust’s (RHET) Highland branch.
The SRUC award for someone 35 years and under, who has shown significant achievement and contribution in agriculture, has been won by one of the Press & Journal’s columnists, Ben Lowe from Newburgh, Ellon.
Although not from a farming background, Mr Lowe has been working part-time on farms since the age of 14 and went on to study at SRUC Edinburgh for four years gaining a BSc Hons in Agriculture.
He completed his diploma in agronomy and started his own farming business as a new entrant, operating HB Farms in partnership with his wife Harriet.
Meanwhile, RNAS has also named the winners of its student and apprentice awards.
The winner of the Johnston Carmichael award for a farmers’ son or daughter working at home goes to Mitchell McGillivray from Auchnascraw, Glenlivet, while Lindsey Brown from Midmar, has won the award for a student employed off farm.
Reece Marr, who is currently studying a land-based engineering extended diploma with Ravenhill at Dyce, is the winner of the agricultural apprentice engineer award sponsored by Turriff Agri Parts.
The 2023 RNAS awards lunch will take place at the Leonardo’s Hotel, Aberdeen Airport on Friday November 3.
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