Two farmers from Aberdeenshire have been recognisned for their innovation, commitment and hard work at this year’s Farmers Weekly Awards.
Craig Michie, from Lochend of Barra, has been awarded Poultry Farmer of the Year for his focus on customer needs and a “canny approach” to marketing.
Barra Bronzes was launched around eight years ago when Mr Michie decided to leave town planning to begin turkey production on his parents’ arable farm.
A Farmers Weekly spokeswoman said: “His use of internet sales and smart branding has driven the business forward, and he has several ideas for future development, including building a turkey “drive-thru” to sell his tasty burgers.
“His enthusiasm for turkeys in particular and the poultry sector in general is infectious, making him a worthy winner.”
The Barra farmer hopes to grow turkey numbers to 5,000 in five years with plans to sell the birds as carbon neutral in the future.
‘A credit to the industry’
The award for Young Farmer of the Year 2021 was presented to Harriet Ross from Udny.
The 29-year-old grew up on a family arable farm and now runs her parents’ enterprise alongside a successful pig farm and a livery diversification.
With her partner, she holds a 10-year tenancy at Newseat of Drumbreck which is predominantly run as an arable unit with 2,400 B&B pigs.
A Farmers Weekly spokeswoman said: “Harriet has shown great ambition, determination and skill to achieve her goals and manage multiple enterprises.
“She has worked hard to establish a sustainable and profitable business and is ready to adapt to future challenges. She is passionate about farming and increasing her knowledge and is a credit to the industry.”
Miss Ross was praised for her ambition, interest in public engagement and consideration for sustainability and the carbon footprint in her work.
As well as spreading best practice in the farming world, the awards aim to inform the public of the role farmers play in today’s society.
The winning farmers were awarded a yellow wall plaque which has become a symbol of the achievements of more than 500 individuals and businesses since the launch of the awards 17 years ago.
Among the winners was broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson who received the award for Farming Champion of the Year. He was recognised for spreading the farming message to a large audience through his Amazon Prime series Clarkson’s Farm.
The awards were presented during a ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in London on October 7.