Peterhead farmer takes top award

A Peterhead farmer has taken home a top award from this year’s AgriScot Farm Business of the Year awards.

Harry Brown’s family farm was named Scotch Beef Farm of the Year.
Harry Brown’s family farm was named Scotch Beef Farm of the Year.

Harry Brown of Auchmaliddie Mains Farm was presented with the Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award at the event by Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon.

Harry runs a herd of 200 predominantly Limousin-cross sucker cows and buys in 200 store cattle per annum to finish, fattening all animals on the 750-acre farm. Of the 400 cattle finished per year, around 30 are sold direct to the customer via farmers’ markets or doorstep deliveries, as Harry and his family work to foster local relationships.

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Their beef system transformed with the introduction of the Ritchie Weigh Monitor, with cattle being weighed daily. Underperformers are quickly identified and removed from the herd, saving money on feed, and allowing only the highest quality animal to enter the food chain.

Traceability is key, with digital software accelerating the monitoring process and translating as increased efficiencies. And, collaborating with their farm nutritionist and vet on a regular basis, Harry ensures that his animals are always in peak condition.

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With a focus on sustainability, the family have constructed a new outdoor silage pit to cut down on plastic use and increase indoor capacity for bedding pens. Carbon audits, soil analytics and GPS technology have also been key to assessing the wider impact of the farm enterprise.

Commenting on the announcements, Chair of AgriScot, Robert Neill, said: “It is fantastic to see thriving farming businesses, from Aberdeenshire to the Borders, recognised for the high standards they uphold and example they set for the wider industry.

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“It has been a challenging time for agriculture, with many issues ongoing, but these awards remind us that there is much to celebrate within the sector. Once again, I would like to congratulate all our winners and wish them all the very best in the future.”

Initial entry to the awards was via an application form, outlining farm business details, processes and outcomes. After being whittled down, shortlisted farms were visited by judges, before the final three from each category were named during a live streamed event in October.