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22 March 05
Young Farmer Of The Year Competition

A new National farming competition run by Eilidh MacPherson, Editor of www.farmingscotland.com   magazine will take place in Thurso mart on Wed 30th March at 7pm. Anyone involved in the farming industry aged 16-35 is welcome to take part. The competition has received backing from SAC, ABP and Tulloch and so far a quad bike is up for grabs as the main prize for the National winner.

Phone Eilidh MacPherson on 0787 901 8552, Catherine Murray on 07712 649 642 or Paul Spencer on 07813 893963 to enter the Caithness heat or fill out the form in www.farmingscotland.com  magazine.

District Final At Dingwall
Dingwall and Highland Marts kindly lent the use of their premises for the inaugural www.farmingscotland.com  Young Farmer of the Year District final on 16 March. Competitors travelled from Elgin to Drumnadrochit to take part in the first of 16 competitions to be held across the country. Farmers, farm workers, a part time joiner/farmer and a trainee auctioneer tried their hand at the practical, technical and written skills to win a share of the spoils.

Peter Williams (24), Woodhouse Farm, Dingwall came out top of the pops in the written question section with 36 out of a possible 60 points, earning a wellyboot holder from MacRae and Dick. Iain Brown (24), Burnside of Dipple, Fochabers, was hot on his heels with 34, while Robert Manson Kilbuiack, Brodieshill Farm, Forres and David Girvan (23), Corrimony, Glenurquhart shared third on 33.

Competitors then headed round the practical sections. Young Daniel Urquhart(18) proved his worth as a trainee auctioneer by scoring top marks (18/20) in the four classes of stock, judged by Paul Spencer. With aging farmers very much to the fore competitors had to attend to a work colleague who had been complaining for some time about pains in his chest and suddenly collapsed with a cardiac arrest. Mid-wife – Maggie Stewart – awarded points for their response to the situation. Iain Brown scored highest here with 14.5 points. Combined with his stockjudging mark of 16, he came top and picked up a reversible waistcoat from Allan’s of Gillock.

Grant Murdoch, Elgin, the domestic god, scored full points in the kitchen gadget identifying section, while many of his contemporaries struggled.

John Matheson of Flichity and Aberarder put in a power of work behind the scenes for the Agrisports and stockjudging classes. Backed by Campmuir Ltd, Conon Bridge, he put the eleven farming fellows through their paces on quad bikes, under quad bikes, with ropes and shearing gear.

John Callum, Milton of Culloden, and Grant Murdoch both took 8.5 points for the quad course while 7 out of the 11 scored full points for changing the wheel. David Girvan was the only one to scoop double figures for placing a comb and cutter correctly under the auspices of Iain Mowat, while Robert Manson did likewise in securing a load on a trailer. Robert only lost three points in the Agrisports so took home a Gerry can from Grantown Garden Machinery. The “toughest part of the evening,” the technical multiple-choice paper set by Smiths Gore, was also won by Robert Manson (25). This time he was awarded a padded shirt from Harbro.

Once every competitor had completed the circuit and points were added, Iain Brown of Burnside of Dipple became the first District winner in the www.farmingscotland.com  Young Farmer of the Year competition and lifted £100 cash for his efforts. Runner up was Robert Mason (#40), who also qualifies for the North Regional Final, which will be held in June, and third place getter and reserve was David Girvan (£25).