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A Family Day Out on the farm promises fun for all at Mackies

By David Porter

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A major on farm event to promote farming and the countryside to the general public is to be held in Aberdeenshire by the Royal Northern Agricultural Society (RNAS).

Taking place on Sunday, May 29 the Royal Northern Countryside Live – A Family Day Out will be hosted at Westertown, Rothienorman by dairy farmers and ice-cream manufacturer Mackies of Scotland.

An open day for the public is planned for the Sunday, while schools from across the north-east will visit on the Monday at a day organised by the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative.

The RNAS and children from Cherry Tree Nursery who launched the Open Farm Day back in 2019 will finally see it take place.
The RNAS and children from Cherry Tree Nursery who launched the Open Farm Day back in 2019 will finally see it take place.

Originally planned for May 2020, the event was twice postponed during lockdown and is finally set to take place.

RNAS president Jimmy Dick said: “The Society has organised similar events in previous years at Dunecht Estate and Uppermill, Kintore, which proved highly successful and attracted a large attendance from the non-farming public who were really interested in how their food is produced and the role played by farmers, foresters and land managers as custodians of the countryside."

Cost of entry will be £10 for adults with children under 15 going for free.

Features of the event will include a tractor and trailer guided farm tour including the iconic turbines, milking of the dairy herd and ice-cream and chocolate production sites, livestock, sheep dressing, sheepdog trials, machinery displays, a tour of the arboretum, renewable energy displays, stockjudging, farmers market, butchery and cookery demostrations, competitions, trade stands, play area and a whole host of other events, displays and compeptitons on the day.

All proceeds from the event after meeting costs will be distributed to three charities – Muscular Dystrophy UK, Charlie House and Maggie's Aberdeen.

Chair of the organising committee, RNAS board member Louise Mutch is particularly pleased that all sectors of the farming industry in the north-east have pledged support for the society's initiative which will offer families an enjoyable and informative day out.

She said: “We are very grateful to Mackie's for kindly agreeding to host this important event.

“Our aim is to attract families from towns throughout the north-east and further afield as well as the city of Aberdeen and surrounding areas.”

The event takes place thanks to Mack Mackie managing director of the family firm.

She continued: “The aim of the innovative event is to promote farming, food production and the countryside to the wider public and play our part in developing a better understanding of the ways of the countryside and the provenance behind the quality food produced on Scotland's farms.”

Westertown Farm, home of Mackie's iconic ice-cream and chocolate brands, as well as a large herd of dairy cattle and extensive arable farming enterprise.

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