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SIR WILLIAM YOUNG AWARD FOR KILSYTH LIVESTOCK FARMER

The renowned Blackface and Charolais breeder, Archie MacGregor of Allanfauld, Kilsyth is the 2015 recipient of one of the livestock industry’s most prestigious prizes, the Sir William Young Award.

The award, from the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), recognises outstanding contribution to livestock breeding and commemorates the service to Scottish agriculture by the late Sir William Young, Skerrington Mains, Hurlford, Kilmarnock. Last year renowned Simmental cattle breeder, Billy Macpherson of Blackford Farm, Croy, won the award.

Archie MacGregor farms 1,800 acres at Allanfauld, Kilsyth, along with his son, John. Predominantly a hill farm, they have a flock of 1,200 Blackface sheep, 700 of which are kept pure and the rest put to the Bluefaced Leicester. The family also breed pedigree Texel sheep, Charolais and Limousin cattle and run a herd of 35 suckler cows.

Within Blackfaces, the £24,000 Allanfauld tup, sold in 2004, has had a huge influence in the breed, and sired the £65,000 Elmscleugh tup (McTavish), and a £30,000 Glenrath tup – both of which went on to breed well themselves.

A well respected Judge across Britain and Ireland, including the Royal, Balmoral, Royal Highland and Great Yorkshire, Archie is aware of the benefits of showing as a shop window for the livestock, and Is always keen to support the local and national shows. He has won breed titles at the Royal Highland with Charolais, Limousins and Blackfaces and, at the Stirling Bull Sales, Allanfauld recently achieved a hat trick by taking the championship at the pre-sale Limousin show three times in a row.

Keen on showing and breeding commercial cattle from a young age, Archie has bred five Smithfield champions and has won it himself once and the Scottish Winter Fair twice. Many Allanfauld-bred animals have gone on to have a positive influence in both pedigree and commercial breeding, none more so than the Charolais bull Allanfauld Vagabond. The animal is considered to be one of the most prolific Charolais bulls in the commercial world, with several Smithfield champions being sired by him too.

A past president of the Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association, Archie is still heavily involved in the breed’s development committee. He was involved in establishing the Highlands and Islands Sheep Strategy and is a past NFU branch chairman.

To top it all off, Archie won Champion Blackface Sheep at 2014 Royal Highland Show.

The citations also reads: “Archie is not just concerned about developing breeds for his own gain, he has always been willing to take his place in committees in the hope of making a difference in the wider livestock world.”

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RHASS STATEMENT REGARDING EAT DRINK DISCOVER SCOTLAND

RHASS has today confirmed that its food & drink event, Eat Drink Discover Scotland (EDDS), will not return as planned in September 2015.

The two-day event, billed as giving visitors the opportunity to ‘taste Scotland in one day’, has been put on hold while the Society, which hosted Scotland’s Larder Live! as part of this year’s record-breaking Royal Highland Show, considers a new format for the exhibition.

Commenting on the decision, Stephen Hutt said: “Despite our best efforts evidence suggests there simply isn’t an appetite for Eat Drink Discover Scotland in its current format.    This is not to say that there isn’t a need for such an event – we believe there is – and our team is working to decide how best to move forward and create a food festival on par with Scotland’s Larder Live! .”

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NEW APPOINTMENT FOR ROYAL HIGHLAND AND AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has announced the appointment of David Alcorn as Society Secretary.

David has worked with the Society for six years, most recently as Livestock and Competition Coordinator, and has a wealth of experience in the workings of the Society, its committee structure and charitable remit.

Outside of work, David is heavily involved in canine show committees and societies – acting for some of these as secretary.

Taking up his new role in July, David will provide the necessary support to sustain and develop the services provided by the Society, including management of RHASS membership and secretarial support for the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC).

Commenting on the new appointment, RHASS Chief Executive, Stephen Hutt said: “David brings valuable know-how and experience to the role as Society Secretary. His existing knowledge of the Society and his secretariat experience from his various roles outside of work will be invaluable as Society Secretary. He is already an extremely valued member of the RHASS team, so we are pleased to welcome him into this new role and look forward to seeing him progress.”

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