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Archive 2004

17 October 04
Vintage Tractor Ploughing Match - Results & Pictures Saturday 16 October 2004
The overall champion and Caithness champion was Graeme Mackay, Buldoo.  The day stayed dry although threatened from time to time to turn to rain as it had earlier in the week.  From those earlier downpours the ground was heavy but the competitors proved that these old tractors can still do the job when combined with skilled ploughmen.
15 June 04
Tug O War Success
Halkirk Young Farmers' Tug of War teams enjoyed a double success at the Royal Highland Show eliminations at Cornhill Games on Saturday 5th June. The boys and girls teams both won their respective competitions and now go forward to represent the North Region at the Royal Highland show on Saturday 26th June, at Ingliston.

15 June 04
SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Rob Gibson as a committee member has welcomed the Environment and Rural Development Committee report on the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy that was published this week.  However Committee member Mr. Gibson says that the Scottish Executive must to go to Brussels to ensure that National Beef Envelope payments are more targeted at those in rural and remote areas who most need help.
Mr. Gibson said……
"I agree with the concerns of the committee, there is nothing set in place that will guarantee that the payments from the scheme will go to those who need it most and I strongly urge the Minister to clarify this point with the EU commission and make sure that the money goes to those remote and island communities which deserves it."

22 May 04
SNP Attack Finne Over EU Demands To End Livestock Improvement Scheme
"Finnie should back crofters and face down EU state aid rules threat" - GIBSON & MATHER
Highlands and Island SNP MSPs Rob Gibson and Jim Mather are calling for Ross Finnie to protect crofters, instead of trying to intimidate them with the threat of a possible EU clawback of cash for the Crofters Commission bull hire scheme.  Said Rob Gibson...'Deputy Environment Minister Allan Wilson claimed in Wednesday night's debate that 'categorical' legal advice from DEFRA threatens to end the 103 year-old Livestock Improvement Scheme as he claims it break EU state aid rules.

13 May 04
A new cattle breed arrived in Caithness this week, with the birth of two French Bazadaise (pronounced. Baz A Day) cross calves. The calves were born within 24 hours of each other at Achalone, Halkirk under the watchful eyes of Isobel Mackenzie and Alistair Sutherland. The calves were after the Bazadaise AI Bull Polux. The calves weighed in at a healthy 38kg.

13 May 04
Kenneth Sutherland Takes Top Award
Halkirk Young Farmers Club held their Summer Stockjudging at the following venues–
Messrs Manson , Skaill, Messrs Ronaldson, Westerseat and Messrs Gunn, Carsgoe.  Official Judges over the two evenings were Mr Johnnie Campbell,  Mr Charles Angus and Mr Don Miller.

27 April 04
Serious Money for Cereal Ambitions
Food and industrial organisations, using grain in innovative ways in their production process, are being offered the opportunity to apply for up to £50,000 Enterprise Award funding from Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA). They will join previously successful companies including a producer of dog treats, a group of brewers exporting beer to Italy, and a grain trader investigating the use of straw-based fuel pellets for power stations. All of these have been awarded significant sums for product development or marketing by HGCA.
The money has been awarded to the companies as part of the HGCA Enterprise Awards, a scheme designed to encourage new and innovative ways of using UK cereals and oilseeds. Launched on April 13th, the latest round of applications offers funding of between £5,000 and £50,000 to finance most aspects of developing new products and markets, from the planning and research stages right through to public launches and promotional campaigns. Companies can benefit from marketing and business support in addition to the cash award. The initial application form, which can be found on the HGCA Enterprise website www.hgca.com/enterprise  is simple to fill out and only takes a matter of minutes.
Julian Gibbons, Chairman of HGCA's Market Development Committee said: "I would urge anybody using, or considering using, UK-grown grain to seriously think about applying for a HGCA Enterprise Award. In addition to the potential financial support, previous winners have benefited from the free marketing and public relations provided.
“Both the quantity and quality of applications for Enterprise Awards have risen over the past few years, and the projects funded are using considerable additional amounts of grain. “ Further information on the awards can be obtained from Charlotte Smethurst by e mail charlotte.smethurst@hgca.com  or by telephone on 0207 520 3927

19 April 04
A Future For Farming And Crofting
Sweeping proposals were published on 19th April 2004 which could help safeguard the future of farming and crofting communities in one of the most remote parts of Great Britain. The conclusions are contained in an extensive report commissioned by The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust to examine the decline of farming and crofting in Caithness.  Uncertainty hanging over the future of sustainable farming and crofting, the fall in farm incomes over the years and the changes taking place across the agricultural industry prompted the Trust to initiate the study which was carried out by the Arkleton Institute for Rural Development Research at the University of Aberdeen, North Highland College, Thurso and Sahbal Mor Ostaig, Skye.

29 March 04
New regulations affecting the disposal of animal by-products will come into effect in the Highlands on Thursday (1 April). Over the past few months, representatives of The Highland Council's Technical, Environment and Community Services have been contacting affected businesses to explain the impact of the regulations and offer advice as to alternative means of disposal.  The regulations target concerns about possible sources of diseases such as BSE, CJD, Salmonella, and Foot and Mouth Disease and aim to protect public health and animal health by controlling the treatment and disposal of animal by-products.  A wide range of businesses are affected by the Regulations including farms, slaughterhouses, rendering plants, knackers' yards, food manufacturers, catering outlets, butchers, fish processors/mongers and food retailers.

16 February 04
Ploughing Match - Lynegar Farm, Watten

North & West Caithness Ploughing Association's 15th Annual Ploughing Match at Lynegar Farm, Watten.  A new trophy, presented in memory of the late Billy Henderson, Castletown, was presented to the best junior. It went to Graeme Mackay, Buldoo. He is pictured after being presented with the trophy by two of Billy's grandchildren - Lisa Campbell and Craig Manson. All the trophy winners pictured after the presentation with James Barnetson Jnr (back row centre) who presented the prizes

16 February 04
Barn Fire At Halkirk Farm
About 11.15pm hours on Saturday, 14 February, 2004 a fire was discovered within a Dutch barn at Buckies Farm, Halkirk. Three units from Highlands and Islands Fire Brigade attended.  The barn and its contents were completely destroyed. As a result of the fire a 62 year old man was treated at hospital for the effects of smoke inhalation but was later released.  There are no suspicious circumstances and enquiries are continuing into the cause of the fire.

12 February 04
Common Agricultural Policy Reforms
The Executive today announced its key decisions on how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform will be implemented in Scotland.   Ministers describe the proposed changes as the most radical reforms to agricultural policy for more than a generation that will place the future back in the hands of farmers, reduce the reliance on subsidy and reduce the bureaucracy.

10 February 04
New Consultant for SAC's Thurso Office
New Farm Business Consultant, John Morgan joined the staff of SAC's Thurso Office in January. Together with Bob Tosh, he will provide technical and business advice to farmers and crofters in the area.  John, who is the son of a Denbighshire sheep and beef farmer, graduated recently from the University of Wales where he gained an honours degree in agriculture. In 2003 he was a finalist in ADAS Pinnacle 'Awards of Excellence' in Business Management, a competition, which is run buy the Farmers Club and the Cave Foundation and which aims to stimulate and encourage an innovative approach to business management.

Archived Caithness Farming Items 2005
Archived Caithness Farming Items 2004
Archived Caithness Farming Items 2003

18 July 04
Caithness County Show 2004

7 July 04
Busy Two Weeks For Caithness Young Farmers
Caithness Young Farmers have had an eventful two weeks, starting with the County Clipping held at Quarryside, Castletown

24 June 04
Scotland’s farmers must make full use of the opportunities created by the new single payment system or face being left behind by their peers, according to industry expert Peter Cook.  That is the message the former head of the Scottish Agricultural College’s rural business unit will give when he addresses farmers at the Royal Highland Show on Thursday 24 June.  “Of course there will be winners and losers under the new system, but it is important that people understand how to make the most of the alterations.  “Due to the implementation of the Single payment system, farmers will be free from the restrictions and ties of the current subsidy regime. This will in turn allow them to re-design systems to offer better efficiency or completely restructure their businesses.