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Farm trader honoured by agricultural community he served for almost 50 years


By Pat Scott

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THE farming community gave a fine send off recently to a man who served it for almost 50 years.

Ron Dawson (74) took up his first post as a sales representative in 1973 with the feed company Nitrovit.

When he retired earlier this year he was sales manager for ACT - covering an area from a line drawn from Edinburgh to Glasgow as far north as Shetland and extending to the Western Isles.

His career path from Nitrovit saw him move to North Eastern Farmers in 1976 where he was a feed specialist moving through the ranks to be a regional manager and overall sales manager.

When the arable side of the North Eastern Farmers business was taken over by ACT in 2002 he became general manager of the operation.

Born and brought up in the Glens of Foudland, Ron said that that he had enjoyed a tremendous amount of goodwill in the farming community .

He said: "I believed if you treated everyone in the same way, you would always get a good response and a good return. I had a lot of good and long standing customers.

"I feel quite humbled that I was thought worthy of a collection and thank everyone who donated. It's most unexpected."

He received money which he plans to use either to buy a greenhouse or for a holiday.

Mr Dawson said that in almost 50 years there had been huge changes in agriculture across the north - east.

He said that prices had always flutctuated but when he began, fertiliser would have been below £100 a ton compared to today's' prices of around £800.

Feed barley traded at around £60 a ton and recently hit £300.

He said:" In the late 70's it was mainly mixed farming with a rotation and livestock on most farms and a lot of pigs and dairy herds. Calf rearing was a huge thing and North Eastern brought up tens of thousands of calves from the south west of England to be reared.

"Units are much more specialised now - most had livestock of one kind or another but stock is in the hands of very few folk now."

John Gordon, Wellheads who was chairman of the committee which organised the retiral collection for Ron, paid tribute to the service he had given the farming community over many years.

He said: "We always appreciated when you went that extra yard on our behalf, although you did like your pound of flesh! We wish you a happy retirement."


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