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.”