Making a pig's ear of winning awards

TWO enterprising and determined young farmers have been named as winner and runner-up in the 2011 Future Farmer Award.

Andrew Rennie, of Gask Farm, Turriff, and Alan Blackwood, of Auldhouseburn Farm, Muirkirk, were yesterday commended for their entrepreneurial spirit; Rennie in the production of cereals, pigs and energy and Blackwood with free-range eggs and Blackface sheep.

The awards showcase how Scotland can produce food, fibre and wood products from farms and crofts in a commercially viable way while maintaining the natural capital of the land and minimizing the ecological footprint of farming activities.

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Rennie, a partner on the family farm at Turriff, said the decision to install an anaerobic digester on the farm's pig unit was made to enhance existing operations. "The slurry produced by the pigs 'feeds' the digester, which powers the farm and produces excess energy which we sell to the grid. Finally, the digestate fertilises our fields, which begins the cycle of feed for the pigs again.

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