More than 200 people from the farming community gathered at the Royal Northern Agricultural Society’s (RNAS) special awards lunch in Aberdeen.
Every year the society presents a number of awards to stalwarts within the farming community in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the sector.
The 2023 event also included the unveiling of the Good Farming Practice Award winner, supported by Aberdeenshire Council.
The entries are assessed against a range of criteria including stock, crops, equipment, environmental management, enterprise and general impression.
This year’s judge Pete Watson from Durris, awarded the accolade to Craig and Claire Grant of Kindrought, Strichen.
Mr Watson said the couple’s hard work and innovative practices caught his eye during the visit to the farm.
He was impressed by Craig and Claire’s fully integrated mixed enterprise which includes laying hens, combinable crops, cattle and sheep.
They were congratulated on their win yesterday by Aberdeenshire Provost, Judy Whyte.
Councillor Alan Turner, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services said: “Agriculture supports more than half of the 22,000 people employed in the north-east food and drink sector.
“The industry is hugely important for our area, economically and socially and one which we are committed to supporting and develop in these challenging and changing times.
“We are delighted once again to be supporting the Royal Northern Agricultural Society Good Farming Practice awards which continue to recognise the outstanding contributions made by the north-east farming community to ensure the industry remains at the forefront of technology and innovation and of course keeps us well fed.”
The Press & Journal award, which recognises a public figure or personality for their services to agriculture, was awarded to Peter Cook, who is Director of Food, Drink and Agriculture at Opportunity North East (ONE).
Gordon Towns, partner of Towns and Carnie Ltd, received the Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ Local Award, while the David Argo Award, given to an unsung hero, went to former Norvite Animal Nutrition feed adviser, Iain MacDonald.
The Under-35 Award, sponsored by SRUC, went to farmer and agronomist Ben Lowe, from Newburgh, Ellon, while the student awards, sponsored by Johnston Carmichael, went to Mitchell McGillivray from Glenlivet and Lyndsey Brown from Midmar.
Reece Marr, who is currently studying a land-based engineering diploma with Ravenhill, won the agricultural apprentice award sponsored by Turriff Agri Parts.
Meanwhile, the society formally thanked and paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of secretary/treasurer Alison Argo, who has stepped down from her dual role after 15 years.
RNAS president Alan Cumming said: “This event is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our events diary and represents the culmination of our busy calendar year. It is, therefore, a fitting time to come together and celebrate some of the excellent work that takes place within the sector every day.
“By shining a light on some of the people who make our industry tick, we hope that others will be motivated and inspired by their examples, and we extend our warmest congratulations and thanks to everyone who was involved in this year’s event.”