The family behind one of the most renowned Suffolk flocks in Scotland has unveiled plans to put its prized flock under the hammer later this year.
The entire female portion of the Deveronside flock, which is run by the Mair family from Kinnermit Farm, near Turriff, will go through the sales ring at Borderway Mart in Carlisle on Friday, July 8.
All rams will be sold through the annual tup sales and channels which the Mairs attend.
Kinnermit is an 800-acre unit run by Barclay Mair and his wife Lucy in partnership with his father Kenny snr and wife Muriel. Barclay’s eldest son Kenny jnr works full-time at home, with daughters Judy, Sally and youngest son Archie all helping out when they are home from school and university.
The main enterprise on the farm is dairying and the family milks a herd of 370 pedigree Holstein cows, also under the Deveronside prefix.
Due to the challenges facing the dairy sector, the difficult decision has been made to sell off the beloved Suffolk flock and focus instead on safeguarding the dairy enterprise for future generations.
Kenny jnr said: “This sale is about future proofing our family’s future. It will be a sad day for the whole family; however we need to think about the long-term sustainability of the family farming enterprise here in Turriff. This dispersal will provide us with the necessary injection of time and support for the dairy side for the next few years, which is the main part to our business.
“Yes it is sad to see the flock go, but already I am looking to the future, and I only hope that we can at some stage once again establish a Suffolk flock here on the farm, with the passion and drive still strong for the breed in all three generations.”
Suffolk sheep have been resident at Kinnermit for more than 60 years with Kenny snr establishing the original flock – Muiresk Suffolks.
Following the dispersal of the Muiresk sheep, Barclay established the Deveronside flock in 2004.
The Mairs are no strangers to the show circuit and at last year’s Royal Highland Show a home-bred ewe won the overall Suffolk champion title.
Success was also seen in the sales rings and last year’s tup prices averaged in the region of 2,500gn with the top priced lot selling for 10,000gn.
At the main sale in July the Mair family will donate all the money made from the sale of the first lot – NAJ:K32 – to the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative and the Royal Highland Education Trust.
According to the Mairs, this ewe has one of the best back breeding lines in the flock, being three quarters sister to the 11,000gn Deveronside Whistleblower and a full sister to the 5,000gn Deversonside Mountroyal.